Among older adults using medium to high doses of the anti-inflammatory steroid prednisolone who were then prescribed the osteoporosis drug alendronate, there was a significantly lower risk of hip fracture, according to a recent study.

In the study, published recently in JAMA, researcher Mattias Lorentzon, MD, PhD., of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and colleagues used a national database to identify 1,802 patients who were prescribed alendronate after at least 3 months of oral prednisolone treatment, and 1,802 patients taking prednisolone without alendronate use, according to a media release from The JAMA Network Journals.

The average age of the patients was 80 years; 70 percent were women. After a median follow-up of 1.3 years, there were 27 hip fractures in the alendronate group and 73 in the no-alendronate group. Analyses indicated that alendronate treatment for a median duration of 2.9 years was associated with lower risk of hip fracture than no alendronate treatment. Greater duration of treatment was associated with a lower risk of hip fracture.

“Although the findings are limited by the observational study design and the small number of events, these results support the use of alendronate in this patient group,” the authors write, the release explains.

[Source(s): The JAMA Network Journals, Science Daily]