Study Examines Association Between Antidepressant Use and Hip Fracture

In a new study, researchers analyzed the relationship between the use of antidepressants and the risk of hip fracture.

The study included 204,072 patients aged 65 years and older from the Prescribed Drugs Register of Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare. Eligible patients had to have an antidepressant prescription filled between July 1, 2006, and Dec. 31, 2011; they were age-matched and gender-matched to a control who did not have an antidepressant prescription, for a total of 408,144 participants (63.1% female; mean age, 80.1 years). The main outcome was incident hip fracture during the year before and after initiating antidepressants.

The patients using antidepressants were more than twice as likely to sustain hip fractures compared to nonusers in the year before and the year after initiating antidepressant use (2.8% vs 1.1% and 3.5% vs 1.3%, respectively, per actual incidence figures). Adjusted analyses showed that patients had the highest risk of hip fracture 16 to 30 days before the prescription was filled (odds ratio, 5.76; 95% CI, 4.73-7.01).

“In all separate analyses of age groups, of men and women, and of individual antidepressants, the highest odds ratios were seen 16 to 30 days before initiation of treatment, and no clear dose-response relationship was seen,” according to the researchers.

“We attribute the pretreatment association to depression itself, to numerous comorbidity factors, and to the concomitant use of other drugs, all of which were more prevalent in the treatment group,” study author Jon Brännström, MD, of Umeå University in Sweden, told MedPage Today. “The during-treatment association is likely due to the same factors, but could of course be influenced by the antidepressant drugs.”

The researchers said that their findings call for further studies to evaluate the association between antidepressants and hip fracture.

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Sources: JAMA, MedPage Today