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Dr. Gregory Pais, ND
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Home arrow Blog arrow Would You Trade A Broken Hip For Heartburn Relief?
Would You Trade A Broken Hip For Heartburn Relief?

In a Dec. 27, 2006 study, people who take common medications like Prilosec, Prevacid and Nexium, to suppress stomach acid may be trading bone health for heartburn relief. Scientists from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia found that use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) increased the odds of breaking a hip by about 44% in people who took the drugs for about a year. People who took higher doses for longer periods were about 2.5x more likely to suffer a hip fracture. One possible mechanism of harm is that PPIs have been shown to decrease absorption of calcium and lower bone density in some people.This could explain the higher rate of hip fractures among those who take them, report the investigators.

The researchers suggest that doctors should more carefully discuss bone health with patients taking these drugs and recommend nutritional supplements. They also call on physicians to prescribe the lowest possible effective doses.

The study was based on a review of the medical records of more than 13,000 hip fracture patients and 135,000 people without hip fractures, all of who were age 50 and older. The investigators note hip fractures, which are common among older people, lead to death in about 20 percent of cases. One in five of those who survive are likely to require nursing home care.
The Journal of the American Medical Association 2006;296:2947-2953


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