Tags: Osteoporosis | osteo | drugs | hip | fractures | bone

Bone Drugs Don't Prevent Fractures: Study

By    |   Wednesday, 27 May 2015 12:56 PM

Most hip fractures in the elderly are caused by falls, not osteoporosis, and medications designed to strengthen bones don’t offer much help, according to new research published in the British Medical Journal BMJ.

About 1.5 million hip fractures occur each year worldwide, most often among seniors, and that number is expected to grow as the population ages. Hip fractures can lead to permanently reduced mobility, quality of life and general health, as well as significant social and medical costs.

In recent decades, anti-osteoporotic medication has been used to combat fractures by boosting bone density. In the U.S., about 75 percent of white women over the age of 65 are believed to be most at risk and are primary targets for osteoporosis medication marketing.

But a new analysis of studies, led by Teppo Järvinen, a professor at the University of Helsinki, Finland, casts doubts on the efficacy of anti-osteoporotic medication in preventing hip fractures.

"The benefit from the drug treatment is marginal at best. It also seems — and this is an interesting detail — that the better the response to the treatment in the study, the more flaws the study had," Järvinen said.

"Only three studies have been conducted on subjects 80 years of age or older, and none of them found that the medication prevented hip fractures."

A better strategy for combatting hip fractures: Minimize the risk of falls in seniors by encouraging them to quit smoking (if they do) and exercise, which boosts muscle and bone strength, and press doctors to screen older patients for balance disorders that may put them at risk.

"When the treatment is drug-focused, other factors that contribute more significantly to the risk for fractures are easily overlooked, such as smoking, exercise, and solutions which may prevent falls," Järvinen noted.

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Most hip fractures in seniors are caused by falls, not osteoporosis, and medications designed to strengthen bones don't offer much help, according to new research.
osteo, drugs, hip, fractures, bone
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 12:56 PM
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