Heartburn Drugs Linked to Hip Fractures

Post-menopausal women are already susceptible to bone injury due to bone density loss, but certain indigestion drugs may exacerbate their risk of debilitating hip fractures.

U.S. researchers found that a woman’s risk of hip fracture was 1.35 times higher among post-menopausal women who regularly took drugs used to treat heartburn and acid reflux for two years compared with those who did not take the medication.

The study published in the British Medical Journal followed nearly 80,000 postmenopausal women and found that women who took heartburn drugs, known as “proton pump inhibitors” and smoked, potentially faced more than 1.50 times higher risk of fracture.

While several other studies have raised concerns about the long-term use of proton pump inhibitors and risk of hip fractures, leading the FDA to send out a warning in 2010, results have been lacking and conflicting.

However, according to the results of this study, hip fracture risk fell for women after drugs stopped. And regular use of a milder antacid called H2 blockers was tied to a “more modest” risk of fracture of 1.23 times higher than the proton pump inhibitors, the researchers said.

The risk of hip fracture returned to normal two years after women stopped taking proton pump inhibitors, the researchers said.

Are you experiencing joint or hip pain? Think you may need a hip replacement surgery? Contact an expert orthopaedic specialist to learn more about what procedure may be right for you!

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