ASN: Hyponatremia Associated With Fractures and Falls

But increase in fractures in elderly with condition isn't associated with bone mineral density

MONDAY, Nov. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults with mild hyponatremia appear to be at an increased risk of fractures and falls, though the condition is not associated with bone mineral density (BMD), according to a study presented at the American Society of Nephrology's Renal Week 2010, held from Nov. 16 to 21 in Denver.

In the prospective, population-based Rotterdam Study, Ewout J. Hoorn, M.D., of Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and colleagues evaluated BMD, vertebral fractures (mean follow-up, 6.4 years), non-vertebral fractures (mean follow-up, 7.4 years), recent falls, comorbidities, medication, and mortality among 5,208 elderly individuals (older than 55 years) with available serum sodium at baseline.

The investigators found hyponatremia among 399 community patients (7.7 percent). Patients with hyponatremia were older, had more recent falls, higher type 2 diabetes mellitus prevalence, and used diuretics more frequently. After adjustment for age, sex, and body mass index, hyponatremia was not related to BMD but was associated with increased risk of incident non-vertebral fractures (hazard ratio, 1.39). After adjustment for all covariates, hyponatremia was also related to increased risk of vertebral fractures (odds ratio, 1.61; P = 0.049). All-cause mortality was also higher in those with the condition (hazard ratio, 1.21).

"Although the complications of hyponatremia are well recognized in hospitalized patients, this is one of the first studies to show that mild hyponatremia also has important complications in the general population," Hoorn said in a statement.

More information

Physician's Briefing