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Pernicious Anemia Patients at Higher Risk for Hip Fractures

Risk still high after years of treatment with vitamin B-12 injections

FRIDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- Even after years of vitamin B-12 therapy, people with pernicious anemia are still at increased risk for hip fractures, which suggests a mechanism other than B-12 deficiency could be driving their vulnerability, according to research published in the April issue of Gastroenterology.

Nathan A. Merriman, M.D., of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study of 9,506 patients with pernicious anemia receiving vitamin B-12 injection therapy and 38,024 control subjects, drawn from the United Kingdom's General Practice Research Database (GPRD).

The researchers found that the patients with pernicious anemia experienced hip fractures at a rate of 3.4/1,000 person-years of follow-up, compared to 2.0 fractures per 1,000/person-years follow-up in the control group. The risk was more pronounced in patients newly diagnosed with pernicious anemia during GPRD follow-up (hazard ratio, 2.63).

"Patients with a diagnosis of pernicious anemia have an elevated risk of hip fracture. The increased hip fracture risk was persistent even years after vitamin B-12 therapy. Chronic achlorhydria could be the mechanism contributing to the persistently elevated hip fracture risk," the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies.

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