Medication may lower future hip fracture risk

In the journals

Published: September, 2020

If you are ever hospitalized for a hip fracture, using an anti-osteoporosis medication may protect you from another bone fracture. A study in the September 2020 issue of Bone examined data on almost 78,000 people ages 50 and older hospitalized with hip fractures. About 10,000 were given anti-osteoporosis medication — usually alendronate (Fosamax) — within one year.

People who began treatment 15 to 84 days after their fracture were less likely to be hospitalized for another kind of fracture in the future compared with people who began treatment later. Those who first took medication after 252 days had the highest risk. The researchers were not able to measure the participants' bone density, so it's possible some people had especially strong or weak bones, which may have influenced the outcome.

Still, the findings reinforce the advantages of being proactive about bone health in light of an injury. The researchers advise older adults to be diligent about getting enough vitamin D and dietary calcium, to consider having a bone density test, and to start drug therapy at an appropriate time.

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