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Study Links PPIs to Hip Fractures in Post-Menopausal Women

Filed February 2nd, 2012 Julie

Women taking a certain type of ulcer drugs may have a higher risk of hip fractures later in life, according to research done in the U.S. That risk appears to increase even more if they smoke.

The study published in the British Medical Journal links bone fractures in smokers to the long-term use of proton pump inhibitors, which are used to treat heartburn, acid reflux, and peptic ulcers. One UK expert said the absolute risk was small but gave women one more reason not to smoke. The study found that women who smoked or used to smoke had a 50 percent increased risk of hip fracture compared with women not taking the medication.

According to Dr. John Stevenson, a medical advisory council member of the British Menopause Society, medical professionals have
long suspected that proton pump inhibitors increased the risk of hip fracture. “This large study confirms that suspicion. However, the absolute risk is small, with the drugs causing an additional five hip fractures per 10,000 women per year.Women should not be put off using proton pump inhibitors if they are needed, but these results provide yet another reason not to smoke.” The study also took other factors into consideration, like calcium intake and obesity.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency said the information had been discussed by a committee of the European Medicines Agency.

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