The British Medical Journal reports that popular drugs prescribed for indigestion and gastric reflux have been linked to an increased risk of bone fractures. The study authors, from the Massachusetts General Hospital, say the drugs inhibit the absorption of calcium, which leads to the increased risk of fractures.
The drugs are known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and the researchers say that post-menopausal women are 35 percent more likely to suffer hip fracture as a result of taking them. That figure increases to 50 percent if the women are current or former smokers.
In absolute numbers, the risk of hip fracture among regular users of PPIs was 2.02 events per 1000 person years, compared with 1.51 events per 1000 person years among non-users of the drugs (a "person year" is the number of years of follow up multiplied by the number of people in the study).
The Food and Drug Administration now wish to revise the labelling on these drugs and the authors stress the importance of evaluating the need for long-term use of PPIs among those with a history of smoking. Finally, it was noted that the risk of hip fracture returned to a normal level two years after patients stopped taking PPIs.
Discuss this article in our forum
Osteoporosis And The Cola Connection
Body fat no insurance against osteoporosis
Sex hormones altered by postmenopausal smoking
Source: British Medical Journal