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Osteoporosis drug outweighs possible risk

March 27, 2010 at 12:56 AM   |   Comments

SAN FRANCISCO, March 27 (UPI) -- The benefits of osteoporosis treatments outweigh possible risk of rare femoral -- thigh bone -- fractures, a team of U.S. epidemiologists found.

The occurrence of an unusual type of fracture of the femur is very low in patients with osteoporosis, including those treated with the drug family known as bisphosphonates, epidemiologists from the University of California, San Francisco, concluded.

The study combined data from three bisphosphonate trials that involved more than 14,000 patients.

Principal investigator Dennis Black said reports from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and news stories on bisphosphonates and femur fractures have appeared in recent weeks.

The study shows that these fractures remain rare even in a population of women who have been taking the drugs for as long as 10 years, Black said.

However, while the risk was not significantly increased among the women taking bisphosphonates compared with placebo, the number of events was too low to definitely rule out a relationship, Black said.

The findings are published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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