Long-term Treatment with Thiazide Diuretics May Lower Risk of Bone, Hip Fractures, Study Suggests

Long-term Treatment with Thiazide Diuretics May Lower Risk of Bone, Hip Fractures, Study Suggests
Long-term use of thiazide diuretics — a hypertension medication — may lower the risk of bone fractures, particularly hip fractures, in people with Alzheimer’s, a disease with a high risk of fractures due to falls, a Finnish study suggests. The study, “Long-term thiazide use and risk of low-energy fractures among persons with Alzheimer’s disease—nested case-control study,” was published in the journal Osteoporosis International. Thiazide diuretics have long been used to treat high blood pressure and hypertension. These medications also work to ease fluid accumulation (hence the name diuretic) throughout the body, by increasing the amount of water filtered through the kidneys. Thiazides have been shown to promote bone density by lowering the amount of calcium — a key mineral that helps bones stay strong — lost through urine. Because people with Alzheimer's can be prone to falls and fractures, researchers at the University of Eastern Finland investigated thiazide use and the risk of bone fractures, especially hip fractures, among patients residing in private homes (called community-dwelling residents). They identified patients diagnosed between 2005 and 2011 with clinically verified Alzheimer's, using the register-based nationwide Medicine use and Alzheimer's disease (MEDALZ) study. Thiazide use was identified from the prescription register data. Out of 70,718 people, researchers focused on 10,416 patients with
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