Nav: Home

Osteoporosis drugs linked to reduced risk of premature death

August 12, 2019

Two studies led by the Garvan Institute of Medical Research have revealed that nitrogen-bisphosphonates, drugs commonly prescribed for osteoporosis, reduced the risk of premature mortality by 34% in a cohort of over 6,000 individuals. This reduction in early mortality risk was significantly associated with a reduction in bone loss compared with no treatment.

The findings present new advice of the significant benefits of taking approved osteoporosis medicine for those at risk of osteoporosis, and their health care professional.

After the age of 50, 40% of women and 25% of men will sustain an osteoporotic fragility fracture in their life, an injury that puts them at risk of further fractures. However, currently fewer than 30% of women and 20% of men with fragility fractures are taking approved treatments for osteoporosis.

"It's a common misconception that osteoporosis affects only women, and many people choose to not take recommended treatments," says Professor Jacqueline Center, who heads the Clinical Studies and Epidemiology laboratory at the Garvan Institute and is an Endocrinologist at St Vincent's Hospital, who led the studies. "But osteoporotic fractures are not benign. Osteoporosis medication not only decreases the risk of further fractures - but it appears that this same medication also decreases mortality rates over the subsequent 15 years."

Reduction in mortality risk

Osteoporosis affects around 200 million people worldwide, and is a progressive disease in which bones become more porous and fragile, often without symptoms until the first fracture occurs.

A Garvan-led team of international researchers analysed data from a cohort of 6,120 participants aged over 50, who took part in the observational Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study.

The analysis showed that individuals treated with nitrogen-bisphosphonates (alendronate or risedronate) had a 34% reduction in mortality risk over the subsequent 15 years, compared to non-treated individuals. The study was published in the April issue of the journal Osteoporosis International(1).

In a second follow-up study, published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, the team analysed data from a cohort of 1,735 women, from the same study. The analysis revealed that 39% of the reduction in premature mortality risk was mediated through a reduction in the rate of bone loss.

The researchers also directly compared the nitrogen-bisphosphonates (alendronate or risedronate) with a weaker, non-nitrogen bisphosphonate and found a similar reduction in mortality risk benefit with the nitrogen-bisphosphonates.

The study provides additional evidence that nitrogen-bisphosphonate treatment can provide significant benefits for those with osteoporosis and is the first to examine potential mechanisms.

"For many individuals with osteoporosis, bone health isn't front-of-mind," says first author of both studies, Garvan's Dr Dana Bliuc, Research Officer in the Clinical Studies and Epidemiology laboratory. "We hope our study results will encourage people with osteoporosis or at risk of a fracture to seek treatment - and commit to taking it."
-end-
(1) Bliuc, D., Tran, T., van Geel, T. et al. Osteoporos Int (2019) 30: 817. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00198-018-4806-0

Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Related Science Articles:

75 science societies urge the education department to base Title IX sexual harassment regulations on evidence and science
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) today led 75 scientific societies in submitting comments on the US Department of Education's proposed changes to Title IX regulations.
Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, biopharma, and pharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2018 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.
Science in the palm of your hand: How citizen science transforms passive learners
Citizen science projects can engage even children who previously were not interested in science.
Applied science may yield more translational research publications than basic science
While translational research can happen at any stage of the research process, a recent investigation of behavioral and social science research awards granted by the NIH between 2008 and 2014 revealed that applied science yielded a higher volume of translational research publications than basic science, according to a study published May 9, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Xueying Han from the Science and Technology Policy Institute, USA, and colleagues.
Prominent academics, including Salk's Thomas Albright, call for more science in forensic science
Six scientists who recently served on the National Commission on Forensic Science are calling on the scientific community at large to advocate for increased research and financial support of forensic science as well as the introduction of empirical testing requirements to ensure the validity of outcomes.
World Science Forum 2017 Jordan issues Science for Peace Declaration
On behalf of the coordinating organizations responsible for delivering the World Science Forum Jordan, the concluding Science for Peace Declaration issued at the Dead Sea represents a global call for action to science and society to build a future that promises greater equality, security and opportunity for all, and in which science plays an increasingly prominent role as an enabler of fair and sustainable development.
PETA science group promotes animal-free science at society of toxicology conference
The PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. is presenting two posters on animal-free methods for testing inhalation toxicity at the 56th annual Society of Toxicology (SOT) meeting March 12 to 16, 2017, in Baltimore, Maryland.
Citizen Science in the Digital Age: Rhetoric, Science and Public Engagement
James Wynn's timely investigation highlights scientific studies grounded in publicly gathered data and probes the rhetoric these studies employ.
Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, pharma, and biopharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2016 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.
Three natural science professors win TJ Park Science Fellowship
Professor Jung-Min Kee (Department of Chemistry, UNIST), Professor Kyudong Choi (Department of Mathematical Sciences, UNIST), and Professor Kwanpyo Kim (Department of Physics, UNIST) are the recipients of the Cheong-Am (TJ Park) Science Fellowship of the year 2016.
More Science News and Science Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Mindset
In the past few months, human beings have come together to fight a global threat. This hour, TED speakers explore how our response can be the catalyst to fight another global crisis: climate change. Guests include political strategist Tom Rivett-Carnac, diplomat Christiana Figueres, climate justice activist Xiye Bastida, and writer, illustrator, and artist Oliver Jeffers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Speedy Beet
There are few musical moments more well-worn than the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. But in this short, we find out that Beethoven might have made a last-ditch effort to keep his music from ever feeling familiar, to keep pushing his listeners to a kind of psychological limit. Big thanks to our Brooklyn Philharmonic musicians: Deborah Buck and Suzy Perelman on violin, Arash Amini on cello, and Ah Ling Neu on viola. And check out The First Four Notes, Matthew Guerrieri's book on Beethoven's Fifth. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.