Drug Holidays From Osteoporosis Meds Linked to More Broken Bones

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Just a hairline fracture...” by Gloria Bell is licensed under CC BY 2.0Brittany Bindon, MD

Department of Internal Medicine
University of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Bisphosphonates are commonly used in the treatment of osteoporosis, however, they have been associated with rare, severe side effects such as osteonecrosis of the jaw and atypical femoral fractures.

As a result, bisphosphonate drug holidays have become common in clinical practice though currently, there are minimal data on the safe duration of these drug holidays. We sought to further characterize the clinical and laboratory parameters associated with increased fracture risk in patients on bisphosphonate drug holiday.

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Low Magnesium May Be Linked To Increased Risk of Hip Fractures

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr Setor Kunutsor Ba(Legon), MBChB(Legon), MA(Cantab), PhD(Cantab) Research Fellow Musculoskeletal Research Unit University of Bristol

Dr. Kunutsor

Dr Setor Kunutsor Ba(Legon), MBChB(Legon), MA(Cantab), PhD(Cantab)
Research Fellow
Musculoskeletal Research Unit
University of Bristol

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Bone fractures are one of the leading causes of disability and ill health especially among the ageing population and are a burden to health care systems. There is established evidence that calcium and vitamin D play an important role in bone health.

Magnesium is an essential trace element, being the second most abundant intracellular cation after potassium and the fourth most abundant cation in the body. It serves several important functions in the body, which include protein synthesis, nucleic acid synthesis, enzymatic reactions, and has also been shown to be cardio-protective. It is also an important component of bone, with majority (67 percent) of total body magnesium known to be found in the bone tissue. There have been suggestions from both human and animal experiments that magnesium may have a beneficial effect on bone health; however, its relationship with fractures is not very certain.

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Hip vs Lumbar Spine Pain Can Be Difficult to Differentiate

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Afshin E. Razi MD</strong> Clinical Assistant Professor NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases Department of Orthopaedic Surgery New York, N.Y. 1001

Dr. Afshin Razi

Afshin E. Razi MD
Clinical Assistant Professor
NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
New York, N.Y. 10016

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We did an extensive literature search and through our two previous seminars on this topic we were able to gather information to aid our colleagues on best ways of differentiating causes of hip and back pain. As an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in spine surgery I encounter many patients who present with concomitant back and hip pain. Many of these patients are also referred to me by surgeons who solely take care of hip problems such as total hip replacement or sport medicine specialist who treat younger patients with hip pain. It can be very difficult to properly diagnose the main issue and as such some patients go on to have unnecessary treatments, including surgery, because of their persistent symptoms. It was our goal to try to educate physicians, including orthopaedic surgeons, on the common differential diagnoses, appropriate clinical history and physical examination, diagnostic tools and their evaluations appropriately, as well as treatment options and priorities of which one to be treated first. More recently, it has been noted that some patients who have undergone total hip replacement with significant curvature of the spine had postoperative dislocation of the hip after reconstruction of the spinal malalignment. This article also talks about this newly seen problem.

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Hip Fractures Increase Mortality Risk in Cognitively Impaired Men

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Ann L. Gruber-Baldini, Ph.D. Professor, Division of Gerontology Director, Program in Epidemiology and Human Genetics  Department of Epidemiology & Public Health University of Maryland School of Medicine

Dr. Ann Gruber-Baldini

Ann L. Gruber-Baldini, Ph.D.
Professor, Division of Gerontology
Director, Program in Epidemiology and Human Genetics
Department of Epidemiology & Public Health
University of Maryland School of Medicine 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: While men make up only about 25% of all hip fractures, the number of men who fracture their hip is increasing and we know men are more likely to die than women after a hip fracture. It is also known that those with cognitive impairments, typically due to delirium and Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia, are more likely to do more poorly after the fracture. The impact of both sex and cognition on outcomes after hip fracture has not been fully explored.

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More Hip Fractures in Elderly on Antidepressants

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Sanna Torvinen-Kiiskinen MSc (Pharm.), PhD student, Kuopio Research Centre of Geriatric Care and School of Pharmacy University of Eastern Finland

Sanna Torvinen-Kiiskinen

Sanna Torvinen-Kiiskinen
MSc (Pharm.), PhD student,
Kuopio Research Centre of Geriatric Care and School of Pharmacy
University of Eastern Finland

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Antidepressants are widely used among elderly persons, especially persons with Alzheimer’s disease. They are used not only for treatment for major depression, but for treatment of anxiety, insomnia and chronic pain as well as behavioral symptoms caused by dementia.

However, antidepressants, as well as other psychotropic drugs, may cause sedation, confusion, orthostatic hypotension and hyponatremia, which increase the risk of falling and fractures. Because of changes in pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics due to aging, older persons are at the higher risk of those adverse events.

The aim of our study was to investigate whether antidepressant use is associated with an increased risk of hip fracture among community-dwelling persons with and without Alzheimer’s disease.

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Physical Activity Doesn’t Increase After Hip Replacement

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Tom Withers

Research Student, School of Health Sciences
University East Anglia
Norwich, UK

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: There is a lot of subjective evidence to suggest that physical activity does not improve following hip replacement we wanted to therefore synthesise the current evidence to come to a more objective conclusion.

The main finding from this study is that physical activity does not significantly change pre-operatively compared to up to one year post-operatively.

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Patients Remain On High Risk Drugs Even After A Fragility Fracture

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jeffrey Munson, MD, MSCE Assistant Professor The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

Dr. Jeffrey Munson

Jeffrey Munson, MD, MSCE
Assistant Professor
The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? 

Response: Fragility fractures due to osteoporosis are a common and costly event among older Americans. Patients who experience one fragility fracture are at increased risk to have a second fracture. Our group is interested in exploring ways in which the risk of a second fracture could be reduced.

In this paper, we studied prescription drug use both before and after fracture. We know many prescription drugs have been shown to increase the risk of fracture, but we don’t know whether doctors try to reduce the use of these drugs after a fracture has occurred. Our study was designed to answer this question.

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Humanized Antibody Romosozumab May Increase Bone Mass In Resistant Osteoporosis Patients

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Bente Langdahl Professor, Consultant, PhD, DMSc Department of Endocrinology and Internal Medicine THG Aarhus University Hospital Aarhus Denmark

Dr. Bente Langdahl

Bente Langdahl
Professor, Consultant, PhD, DMSc
Department of Endocrinology and Internal Medicine THG
Aarhus University Hospital
Aarhus Denmark

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Romosozumab is a humanised antibody against sclerostin currently in development for the treatment of osteoporosis. Romosozumab has a dual effect on bone; it stimulates bone formation and inhibits bone resorption. If this new treatment obtains regulatory approval and becomes available for the treatment of osteoporosis, some of the patients who will be candidates for this new treatment will already have been treated with other available treatments, for example, bisphosphonates. This study compared the effects of romosozumab and teriparatide, a currently available bone forming treatment, on bone mass, bone structure and bone strength. The results showed that the percent change from baseline in BMD at the total hip through month 12 (the primary endpoint) was significantly greater with romosozumab compared with teriparatide: 2.6 percent versus –0.6 percent, respectively (p<0.0001). For the secondary endpoints; lumbar spine BMD by DXA, total hip and femoral neck BMD by DXA and QCT and bone strength estimated by finite element analysis patients treated with romosozumab had significantly larger increases from baseline compared with those taking teriparatide, with mean differences ranging from 3.1 percent to 4.6 percent (all p-values <0.0001).

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Hip Fractures and Falls Increase Years Before Parkinson’s disease Diagnosed

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Helena Nyström MD, PhD Candidate Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation Umeå University Umeå, Sweden

Helena Nyström

Helena Nyström MD, PhD Candidate
Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation
Umeå University
Umeå, Sweden

Medical Research: What is the background for this study?

Response: Parkinson’s disease (PD) has an insidious onset and the prodromal phase, preceding the onset of the characteristic PD symptoms, may last for decades. Most prodromal signs previously reported are of non-motor type, such as sleep and mood disorders. However, recent studies have reported balance problems and an increased risk of accidental injuries in the last 3-5 years before diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease , and in a previous study we found a lower muscle strength at military conscription in men who were diagnosed with  Parkinson’s disease three decades later. In this study, we aimed to investigate if such subtle strength deficits may translate into an increased risk of fall-related injuries.

Medical Research: What are the main findings?

Response: The median study time was 20 years before the diagnosis of  Parkinson’s disease , and during this time more individuals with PD (18%) than controls (11.5%) had at least one fall-related injury. The risk was most increased in the last few years before the diagnosis of  Parkinson’s disease , but a difference between the groups appeared already a decade before the PD diagnosis. The risk of hip fracture was increased during the entire study time of 26 years before the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease .

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Normal Bone Density in Men Does Not Prevent Fractures—Fall Prevention Still Needed

Margaret L. Gourlay, MD, MPH Assistant Professor UNC Department of Family Medicine Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7595

Dr. Margaret Gourlay

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Margaret L. Gourlay, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor
UNC Department of Family Medicine
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7595

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Gourlay: While clinical practice guidelines universally recommend bone density screening for fracture prevention in women aged 65 years and older, minimal data exist to guide bone density screening in older men. We studied how often bone density screening tests should be ordered in men, using data from the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Study. MrOS is the largest and longest-running (since 2000) US study of bone density and fracture in men aged 65 and older.

After peak bone mass is reached in young adulthood, both men and women lose bone density as they get older. Based on our earlier findings in older women, we expected that men aged 65 and older with higher bone density T-score measurements (T-score >-1.50) on a first (baseline) bone density test would have a substantially longer estimated time to develop the lowest level of bone density (osteoporosis) than men with better baseline measurements. Clinicians want to know the time to osteoporosis because they prescribe osteoporosis treatments to prevent future fractures in elderly patients.

As expected, we found that the men with higher baseline bone density had a much slower transition to osteoporosis compared to men with lower bone density. In fact, only nine out of 4203 (0.2%) of men with higher baseline bone density developed osteoporosis after an average of 8.7 years of bone density follow-up. That was much lower than we expected and is good news for men who have favorable scores on their first bone density test. Men who had lower baseline bone density measurements developed osteoporosis faster.

Unfortunately, maintaining bone density above the osteoporosis range did not guarantee that men remained fracture-free.   Most of the major osteoporotic fractures (broken hip, spine, wrist or upper arm/shoulder) occurred in men who did not have osteoporosis. This might be because they had accidents or injuries that broke their bones despite their bone density being above the thinnest range.

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