Diuretic blood pressure drug linked to fewer hip fractures

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Although some observational studies have indicated that thiazide diuretics may protect against hip fracture, there has been little confirmatory evidence from clinical trials. Researchers in the Antihypertensive and Lipid-Lowering Treatment to Prevent Heart Attack Trial (ALLHAT) recently analyzed their data and found evidence of such an effect.

The researchers looked at the results from 22,180 participants with an average age of 70, 43% of whom were women. The participants were randomly assigned to receive either the calcium-channel blocker amlodipine (Norvasc), the ACE inhibitor lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), or the diuretic chlorthalidone (Thalitone) and were followed for up to eight years. During the trial, 338 hip or pelvic fractures occurred. Participants who took chlorthalidone had a lower fracture risk compared with those who took amlodipine or lisinopril. The researchers found similar results in 16,622 of the participants followed for five years after the study ended.

These findings, published online Nov. 21, 2016, by JAMA Internal Medicine, suggest that thiazide diuretic therapy may reduce hip fracture risk. If you need blood pressure medication, you may want to discuss a thiazide diuretic with your doctor. Not only is it economical and effective, but it may benefit your bones, too.