A new study shows a connection between the use of two of the most common medications -- beta-blockers and diuretics and a reduced risk for bone fractures. Beta-blockers are commonly used to treat high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, chest pain, and abnormal heart rhythms. Some heart attack patients also receive the drugs to prevent a second attack. Diuretics are used to remove excess water from the body.
Researchers examined more than 30,000 patients with fractures and then compared them to 120,000 patients without fractures. It was found that atients who took beta-blockers for an average of six months or longer had a 23-percent lower risk of developing a fracture. If patients only took a diuretic, they had a 20- percent lower risk, and the combination of drugs lowered their risk by 29 percent.
Elderly patients with hypertension are at risk of developing osteoporosis, and they may potentially profit from positive effects of the relatively inexpensive beta-blockers and thiazide diuretics on fracture risk say researchers. However researchers say though their findings were significant, they say that they were not able to screen out every factor to eliminate error.