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Loop Diuretics Linked to Bone Loss in Older Men

Providers should consider patient's use of loop diuretics when assessing fracture risk

MONDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Loop diuretics may lead to accelerated hip bone loss in older men, researchers report in the April 14 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Lionel S. Lim, M.D., of Griffin Hospital in Derby, Conn., and colleagues investigated the relationship between loop diuretic use and bone loss in a cohort of 3,269 predominantly white men aged 65 and older. The researchers asked the men about their medication use and measured bone mineral density of the total hip and two subregions using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry at baseline and at follow-up at a mean of 4.6 years later.

After adjustment for age, baseline bone mineral density, comorbidities and other clinical variables, loop diuretic use was associated with increased rates of hip bone loss, the investigators found. The average annual rate of decline in total hip bone mineral density ranged from -0.33 percent for non-users, -0.58 percent for intermittent users, and -0.78 percent for continuous users of loop diuretics, the report indicates.

"Future research should further examine the biologic mechanisms, including urinary calcium loss and/or parathyroid hormone-driven bone turnover, underlying this association," the authors write. "Our findings suggest that health care providers should take into account loop diuretic use when evaluating older men for risk factors for bone loss and fracture risk."

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