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The Journal of Bone and Mineral Research (JBMR) has published a report showing that a reduction in the rate of bone loss by nitrogen bisphosphonates was associated with a 40% lower mortality risk.
Accelerated bone loss has been shown to be an independent predictor of mortality risk, but the relationship between bisphosphonates, bone loss, and mortality is unknown.
This Canadian study followed a population prospectively between1996 and 2011 and assessed their therapy, bone mineral density (BMD) outcomes, comorbidities and lifestyle factors at baseline and at years 3 (for those aged 40 to 60 years), 5, and 10. Patients were grouped according to whether they took nitrogen bisphosphonates (nBP; alendronate or risedronate) and etidronate and non‐users (NoRx).
The matched cohort analysis comprised 271 pairs of nBP and matched NoRx and 327 pairs of etidronate and matched NoRx.
nBP but not etidronate use was associated with significant (40%) mortality risk reduction (hazard ratios [HR] = 0.61 [95% confidence interval 0.39–0.96].
Rapid bone loss was associated with more than 2‐fold increased mortality risk compared with no loss.
It was estimated that 39% (95% CI 7%–84%) of the nBP associated decrease in mortality was related to a reduction in the rate of bone loss.