Navigation Links
Some Heart Failure Meds May Raise Fracture Risk in Women

Long-term use of loop diuretics tied to drop in bone density but short-term use safe, researchers say

TUESDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- The short-term use of heart failure drugs called loop diuretics does not appear to increase the risk of fractures in postmenopausal women, a new study finds, but their effect over the long term is less clear.

Loop diuretics include widely used medicines such as Lasix, Bumex and Demadex, which are commonly prescribed to patients with congestive heart failure. Because these medications increase the loss of calcium, there has been a concern that they might reduce bone mineral density, increasing users' risk for fractures.

However, "much of the association that may have been blaming loop diuretics may have really been a result of the other health problems that women had," said study co-author Dr. Karen Johnson, vice chairwoman of the department of preventive medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, in Memphis.

Johnson believes that doctors should still pay attention to bone mineral density when starting women on loop diuretics. "You probably want to make sure people are following the recommendations to prevent osteoporosis, including taking calcium and vitamin D supplements," she said.

The report is published in the Jan. 26 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

For the study, Johnson's group collected data on almost 134,000 American women who participated in the Women's Health Initiative from October 1993 to December 1998. During 7.7 years of follow-up, the researchers recorded all falls and fractures reported by the women.

Among the women, more than 3,400 were taking loop diuretics. The researchers found no significant association between loop diuretics and fractures, including hip fractures, spine fractures and falls.

However, there did appear to be a small increase in fractures among women who took loop diuretics for more than three years, Johnson noted.

Women should ask their doctor which diuretic they are taking, because not all diuretics are loop diuretics, Johnson said. Women should also ask about their bone mineral density to determine whether they are at risk for osteoporosis and fractures, she said.

Dr. Jeffrey S. Berger, a cardiologist at Duke University Medical Center and an expert in women's heart health, doesn't think the study is definitive. He said the long-term use of loop diuretics could still result in an increased risk of fracture.

"One has to be careful when prescribing medications such as loop diuretics," Berger said. "Medications may have harmful side effects. It is important to keep patients on the medication for as short a time as they need to be on it."

Berger stressed that loop diuretics are effective and important drugs for heart patients. "They help a lot more than they harm," he said. "They are useful and they make people feel a lot better, especially those with bad heart failure."

Still, "this study should raise a red flag," Berger said. "One has to be mindful of potential side effects, in this case it's fractures with the long-term use of loop diuretics."

Dr. Gregg C. Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, agreed that the study is not the last word on the subject.

"It is important to note that the dose of loop diuretics were not collected [in the study] and even among the women reported to have heart failure there was minimal use of guideline-recommended heart failure medications." Fonarow said. "As such, it is unlikely this study involved many patients on higher doses of loop diuretics or with moderate to severe heart failure."

That means that, "there is a need for further studies to determine if moderate- or high-dose loop diuretic use is associated with bone fractures and falls," Fonarow said.

More information

For more information on osteoporosis, visit the U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases .

SOURCES: Karen Johnson, M.D., M.P.H., professor and vice chairwoman, Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis; Jeffrey S. Berger, M.D., cardiologist, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C.; Gregg C. Fonarow, M.D., professor, cardiology, University of California, Los Angeles; Jan. 26, 2009, Archives of Internal Medicine

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Heart Healthy Tips from Dr. Praegers Sensible Foods
2. Jiffy Lube(R) Seeks to Raise $1.5 Million for American Heart Associations Go Red For Women(TM) Movement
3. American Heart Association Clarifies the Role Omega-6 Fatty Acids
4. American Heart Association Science Advisory - Omega-6 Fatty Acids: Make Them a Part of Heart-Healthy Eating
5. CHPA, Nielsen: OTC Heartburn Therapy Saves Nearly $800 Million Annually, Vast Majority of OTC Heartburn Consumers Satisfied
6. 60 Million Worldwide Carry Heart Disease Mutation
7. Heartland Information Services Moves Up to 2nd Place in National Survey for Outsourced Transcription
8. MedicAlert Foundation Joins the American Heart Associations Go Red For Women To Fight Heart Disease and Stroke
9. Gender May Influence Heart Failure Treatment
10. UT Southwestern researchers find drug-coated stents less risky for heart bypass patients
11. Houston Northwest Medical Center Is One of Two Hospitals in Texas Named A Mentor Hospital for Heart Attack
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Some Heart Failure Meds May Raise Fracture Risk in Women
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... The McHenry County law firm of ... obtained by Attorneys Francisco J. Botto and Alex C. Wimmer. Attorneys Botto and Wimmer ... 2015 IL App (2d) 130884WC. , According to court documents, Adcock testified that on ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... SCOTTSDALE, ... facial plastic surgeon specializing in both surgical and non-surgical treatments, announced the expansion ... at Hobgood Facial Plastic Surgery. , Highly trained and nationally recognized for ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... MI (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... In ... Presence Resurrection Medical Center (RMC) in Chicago, IL, UV Angel is evaluating the efficacy ... medical and surgical intensive care units (totaling 30 beds) from May 2014 through October ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Castlewood Treatment Center ... with eating disorders as a result of the $20,000 raised at the center’s ... Fox Run Golf Club in Eureka, will help individuals who otherwise might not ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Privately owned Contract Development ... expansion of its current state of the art research, development and manufacturing facility ... increase its manufacturing capacity as well as to support its clients’ growing research ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... Juntendo universitetssjukhus ser potential att använda ... magnetresonansbilder (MR-bilder) för patienter med multipel ... ett forskningsavtal med SyntheticMR AB för att ... forskningsprojekt på sjukhuset. Med SyMRI kan man ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... DUBLIN , Nov. 26, 2015 ... the addition of the "2016 Future Horizons ... Monitoring (TDM) Market: Supplier Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, ... offering. --> ... comprehensive analysis of the Italian therapeutic drug monitoring ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... OAKS, Calif. , Nov. 25, 2015  Amgen ... a Biologics License Application (BLA) with the ... (FDA) for ABP 501, a biosimilar candidate to Humira ... first adalimumab biosimilar application submitted to the FDA and ... pathway. Sean E. Harper , M.D., executive ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: