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J Bone Miner Res. 2011 May;26(5):993-1001. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.288.

Oral bisphosphonates and risk of subtrochanteric or diaphyseal femur fractures in a population-based cohort.

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  • 1Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA. skim62@partners.org

Abstract

Bisphosphonates are the primary therapy for postmenopausal and glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis. Case series suggest a potential link between prolonged use of bisphosphonates and low-energy fracture of subtrochanteric or diaphyseal femur as a consequence of oversuppression of bone resorption. Using health care utilization data, we conducted a propensity score-matched cohort study to examine the incidence rates (IRs) and risk of subtrochanteric or diaphyseal femur fractures among oral bisphosphonate users compared with raloxifene or calcitonin users. A Cox proportional hazards model evaluated the risk of these fractures associated with duration of osteoporosis treatment. A total of 104 subtrochanteric or diaphyseal femur fractures were observed among 33,815 patients. The estimated IR of subtrochanteric or diaphyseal femur fractures per 1000 person-years was 1.46 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.11-1.88] among the bisphosphonate users and 1.43 (95% CI 1.06-1.89) among raloxifene/calcitonin users. No significant association between bisphosphonate use and subtrochanteric or diaphyseal femur fractures was found [hazard ratio (HR) = 1.03, 95% CI 0.70-1.52] compared with raloxifene/calcitonin. Even with this large study size, we had little precision in estimating the risk of subtrochanteric or diaphyseal femur fractures in patients treated with bisphosphonates for longer than 5 years (HR = 2.02, 95% CI 0.41-10.00). The occurrence of subtrochanteric or diaphyseal femur fracture was rare. There was no evidence of an increased risk of subtrochanteric or diaphyseal femur fractures in bisphosphonate users compared with raloxifene/calcitonin users. However, this study cannot exclude the possibility that long-term bisphosphonate use may increase the risk of these fractures.

Copyright © 2011 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.

PMID:
21542002
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3179299
Free PMC Article
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