Proton pump inhibitors increase the incidence of bone fractures in hepatitis C patients

Michael Mello, Rick A Weideman, Bertis B Little, Mark W Weideman, Byron Cryer, Geri R Brown
Digestive Diseases and Sciences 2012, 57 (9): 2416-22

BACKGROUND: While proton pump inhibitors (PPI) may increase the risk of bone fractures, the incidence of new bone fractures in a chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infected cohort, with or without PPI exposure, has not been explored.

METHODS: A retrospective cohort study of the incidence of bone fractures over 10 years in 9,437 HCV antibody positive patients in the Dallas VA Hepatitis C Registry was performed. The study endpoint was the incidence of verified new bone fractures per patient-years (pt-yrs) in PPI users compared to non-PPI users. PPI use was defined as those taking a PPI for ≥360 days. Pt-yrs of exposure for PPI users began on the first PPI prescription date, and pt-yrs of exposure for non-PPI users began with first date of any non-PPI prescription. For both HCV groups, the final date of patients' study duration was defined by end of PPI exposure, bone fracture occurrence, death or end of study evaluation period. Exclusion criteria included use of bone health modifying medications ≥30 days. Statistical differences in fracture incidence between groups were determined by multivariate regression analysis.

RESULTS: Among the total study population analyzed (n = 2,573), 109 bone fractures occurred. Unadjusted bone fracture incidences were 13.99/1,000 pt-yrs vs. 5.86/1,000 pt-yrs in PPI and non-PPI users, respectively. The adjusted hazard ratio for new bone fractures was 3.87 (95 % CI 2.46-6.08) (p < 0.001) in PPI users.

CONCLUSIONS: In patients with chronic HCV, use of PPI for >1 year increased the risk of new bone fractures by more than threefold.

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