Diuretics associated with bone loss in older men

Apr 14, 2008

Older men who take loop diuretics, commonly prescribed drugs for heart failure and hypertension, appear to have increased rates of hip bone loss than men who are not taking this medication, according to a report in the April 14 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

“Loop diuretics are one of the most commonly prescribed medications among older adults,” the authors write as background information in the article. These medications increase the amount of calcium excreted in urine, potentially damaging bones over the long term. In observational studies, use of loop diuretics has been associated with an increased risk of hip and other fractures. “However, there is uncertainty as to whether this increased fracture risk is attributable to negative effects on bone mineral density, fall-related mechanisms (e.g., dizziness and orthostasis [low blood pressure when standing up]), or associated comorbidities [co-occurring illnesses].”

Lionel S. Lim, M.D., M.P.H., of Griffin Hospital, Derby, Conn., and colleagues studied 3,269 men age 65 and older (average age 72.7). At an initial examination between 2000 and 2002 and at a follow-up visit an average of 4.6 years later, the men answered questions about medication use and brought in containers for all medication taken during the past 30 days. Bone mineral density of the total hip and two subregions was measured.

A total of 84 men continuously used loop diuretics between the two time periods, 181 used them intermittently and 3,004 did not use them. After adjusting for other related factors, the average annual rate of decline in total hip bone mineral density was -0.33 percent in non-users, -0.58 percent in intermittent users and -0.78 percent among continuous users.

“Compared with rates of hip bone loss among non-users of diuretics, adjusted rates of loss were about two-fold greater among intermittent loop diuretic users and about 2.5-fold greater among continuous loop diuretic users,” the authors write. Findings were similar at the subregions of the hip.

“We conclude that loop diuretic use in older men in associated with increased rates of hip bone loss,” the authors write. Future research should address the underlying mechanisms, they note. “Our findings suggest that health care providers should take into account loop diuretic use when evaluating older men for risk factors for bone loss and fracture risk.”

Source: JAMA and Archives Journals

Explore further: Investigators show how immune cells are 'educated' not to attack beneficial bacteria

Related Stories

OrangeSec pair said Cortana visited Android

1 hour ago

Can, did, Cortana work on Android? A talked-about act at droidcon 2015: a presentation titled "Cracking Cortana." The OrangeSec team arrived at the Turin, Italy, event to show their work in a CortanaProxy ...

Mercury MESSENGER nears epic mission end

2 hours ago

A spacecraft that carries a sensor built at the University of Michigan is about to crash into the planet closest to the sun—just as NASA intended.

DOJ, FBI acknowledge flawed testimony from unit

4 hours ago

The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in the FBI Laboratory's microscopic hair comparison unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against ...

Dawn glimpses Ceres' north pole

4 hours ago

After spending more than a month in orbit on the dark side of dwarf planet Ceres, NASA's Dawn spacecraft has captured several views of the sunlit north pole of this intriguing world. These images were taken ...

Recommended for you

Fat signals control energy levels in the brain

Apr 23, 2015

An enzyme secreted by the body's fat tissue controls energy levels in the brain, according to new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The findings, in mice, underscore a role ...

Human tape worm drug shows promise against MRSA in lab

Apr 23, 2015

A new study provides evidence from lab experiments that a drug already used in people to fight tapeworms might also prove effective against strains of the superbug MRSA, which kills thousands of people a ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.