Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Heartburn drugs boost hip-fracture risk over long term: study

From CBC News:
Popular heartburn medications may significantly increase the risk of suffering a disabling broken hip when taken over the long term, Canadian doctors say, and the drugs may be being prescribed inappropriately.

Proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, such as Prilosec, Nexium and Prevacid, constitute class of drugs commonly prescribed for peptic ulcers and reflux, and they are often taken for years. In 2004, 12.4 million prescriptions were written for the drugs in Canada, according to the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health.

In Tuesday's issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, Dr. William Leslie, director of Manitoba's bone density program, and his colleagues find that taking PPIs for seven years or more nearly doubles the risk of an osteoporosis-related fracture.

Hip fractures can be severe, leading to death in about 20 per cent of cases. The number of Canadians who suffer the injury is predicted to increase to more than 88,000 in 2041, up from 23,375 in 1993-1994, an earlier study suggested. ...more

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