Bone Loss Drugs Linked to Femure Fractures

UPI | MAY 29, 2012

Treatment with bisphosphonates — drugs that offset bone loss  associated with menopause — may be linked to femur fractures, Swiss researchers  say.

Dr. Raphael P. H. Meier and colleagues from University Hospitals of  Geneva and Faculty of Medicine in  Switzerland evaluated the association between  bisphosphonate treatment and atypical femoral fractures in 477 patients age 50  and older who were hospitalized with a subtrochanteric or femoral shaft fracture  at a single university medical center.

A control group of 200 healthy individuals without femoral  fractures was also identified.

The study authors identified 39 patients with atypical fractures  and 438 patients with a classic — a more common fracture with a typical pattern  — fracture. Among the 39 patients in the atypical group, 82.1 percent had been  treated with bisphosphonates, compared with 6.4 percent in the classic  group.

However, compared with patients without fractures, use of  bisphosphonates was associated with a 47 percent reduction in the risk of  classic fracture.

“We have demonstrated that the association between bisphosphonate  treatment and the occurrence of atypical fractures of the femur is highly likely  and that the duration of such treatment significantly correlates with augmented  risk,” the authors said in a statement.

The findings were published online in Archives of Internal  Medicine.

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