According to a new study, post-menopausal women are 35 percent more likely to suffer a hip fracture if they take indigestion drugs, or “proton pump inhibitors” (PPIs).
These drugs are the most common medicines used around the world and are often used to treat heartburn and acid reflex.
However, PPIs can inhibit the absorption of calcium, which leads to the increased risk of fractures.
Researchers looked at the association between PPIs and hip fractures in just under 80,000 post-menopausal women over an eight year period from 2000 to 2008.
The team found that women with a prolonged use of these drugs and who smoke could be up to 50 percent more likely to suffer from hip fractures compared to women who do not smoke.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning in May 2010 about the relationship between hip fractures and using indigestion drugs.
The team found that out of the 79,899 post-menopausal women in the study, 893 suffered hip fractures in total over the eight year period. Correlation was found between the length of time PPIs were taken and the risk of fractures.
The researchers also found an increased use in women taking indigestion drugs. They found that 6.7 percent of women were regularly using a PPI in 2000, jumping to 18.9 percent in 2008.
The authors wrote in a study published on bmj.com that the risk of hip fracture returned to a normal level two years after patients stopped taking the indigestion drugs.
The FDA says it hopes to revise labeling on these drugs, and the researchers stress the importance of evaluating the need for long-term use of PPIs among those with a history of smoking.
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