Bisphosphonates Reduce Mortality in Women


Osteoporosis medication and reduced mortality risk in elderly women and men.

Osteoporotic fractures are associated with premature mortality. Antiresorptive treatment reduces refracture but mortality reduction is unclear.
The objective of the study was to examine the effect of osteoporosis treatment [bisphosphonates (BP), hormone therapy (HT), and calcium ± vitamin D only (CaD)] on mortality risk.
This was a prospective cohort study (April 1989 to May 2007).
The study was conducted with community-dwelling elderly (aged 60+ yr) subjects in Dubbo, a semiurban city, Australia.
Subjects included 1223 and 819 women and men in the Dubbo Osteoporosis Epidemiology Study.
Mortality according to treatment group was recorded.
There were 325 (BP, n = 106; HT, n = 77; CaD, n = 142) women and 37 men (BP, n = 15; CaD, n = 22) on treatment. In women, mortality rates were lower with BP 0.8/100 person-years (0.4, 1.4) and HT 1.2/100 person-years (0.7, 2.1) but not CaD 3.2/100 person-years (2.5, 4.1) vs. no treatment 3.5/100 person-years (3.1, 3.8). Accounting for age, fracture occurrence, comorbidities, quadriceps strength, and bone mineral density, mortality risk remained lower for women on BP [hazard ratio (HR) 0.3 (0.2, 0.6)] but not HT [HR 0.8 (0.4, 1.8)]. For 429 women with fractures, mortality risk was still reduced in the BP group [adjusted HR 0.3 (0.2, 0.7)], not accounted for by a reduction in subsequent fractures. In men, lower mortality rates were observed with BP but not CaD [BP 1.0/100 person-years (0.3, 3.9) and CaD 3.1/100 person-years (1.5, 6.6) vs. no treatment 4.3/100 person-years (3.9, 4.8)]. After adjustment, mortality was similar, although not significant [HR 0.5 (0.1, 2.0)].
Osteoporosis therapy appears to reduce mortality risk in women and possibly men.

Center JR, Bliuc D, Nguyen ND, Nguyen TV…
J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. Apr 2011
PMID: 21289270

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