Patients with heartburn, GERD, peptic ulcers or other conditions who take proton pump inhibitors to relieve symptoms are at increased risk of fractures, according to a large new study of patients aged 50 an older.
The study says the risk is for osteoporosis-related fractures, specifically for hip fractures. The risk for hip fractures shows up after 5 years of continuous use, but after 7 years, the risk of all fracture types goes up. The study did not show any correlation between fracture risk and short-term exposure to the medication class.
The findings are significant because most patients use these medications for the long haul, often indefinitely. The study looked at patients who had hip, spine or wrist fractures and included a control group with no history of any fractures in these areas.