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J Bone Miner Res. 2004 Jan;19(1):19-24.

Beta-adrenergic blockers reduce the risk of fracture partly by increasing bone mineral density: Geelong Osteoporosis Study.

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Department of Clinical and Biomedical Sciences: Barwon Health, The University of Melbourne, Geelong, Australia.


This population-based study documented beta-blocker use in 59/569 cases with incident fracture and 112/775 controls. OR for fracture associated with beta-blocker use was 0.68 (95%CI, 0.49-0.96). Beta-blockers were associated with higher BMD at the total hip (2.5%) and UD forearm (3.6%) after adjusting for age, anthropometry, and thiazide use. Beta-blocker use is associated with reduced fracture risk and higher BMD.


Animal data suggests that bone formation is under beta-adrenergic control and that beta-blockers stimulate bone formation and/or inhibit bone resorption.


We evaluated the association between beta-blocker use, bone mineral density (BMD), and fracture risk in a population-based study in Geelong, a southeastern Australian city with a single teaching hospital and two radiological centers providing complete fracture ascertainment for the region. Beta-blocker use was documented for 569 women with radiologically confirmed incident fractures and 775 controls without incident fracture. Medication use and lifestyle factors were documented by questionnaire.


Odds ratio for fracture associated with beta-blocker use was 0.68 (95% CI, 0.49-0.96) for any fracture. Adjusting for age, weight, medications, and lifestyle factors had little effect on the odds ratio. Beta-blocker use was associated with a higher BMD at the total hip (2.5%, p = 0.03) and ultradistal forearm (3.6%, p = 0.04) after adjustment for age, anthropometry, and thiazide use.


Beta-blockers are associated with a reduction in fracture risk and higher BMD.

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