Sedatives not linked to hip fractures in elderly people

March 22, 2001

Benzodiazepines and hip fractures in elderly people: case control study

Currently, the role of benzodiazepines (sedatives) in hip fracture is unclear, but a study in this week's BMJ finds that, in general, exposure to benzodiazepines does not increase the risk of hip fracture in people aged over 65. However, patients using two or more of these drugs may be at higher risk.

From January 1996 to July 1997, researchers in France assessed all patients aged over 65 presenting to two hospital emergency departments with acute hip fracture resulting from a fall that was not related to cancer, a traffic accident or aggression. Except for one individual drug, lorazepam, benzodiazepines were not associated with an increased risk of hip fracture. Hip fracture was, however, associated with the use of two or more benzodiazepines.

Study limitations mean that these findings must remain tentative, explain the authors. However they suggest that patients using lorazepam or certain other benzodiazepines may be at a higher risk of hip fracture.
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Contact:

Professor Nicholas Moore, Department of Pharmacology, Victor Segalen University, Bordeaux, France Email: nicholas.moore@pharmaco.u-bordeaux2.fr

BMJ

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