A new study has found an added benefit from blood pressure medication: It may help reduce the risk of bone fractures. The researchers found that a class of blood pressure medication – known as thiazide diuretics – lowered the risk of hip or pelvic fractures in patients on this drug, compared to patients taking different blood pressure pills.
Dr. Caroline Messer commented on the study findings, “It is well known that thiazide therapy can lower calcium excretion into the urine by as much as 50 percent. This tendency towards a positive calcium balance in the body may [slow] bone loss and reduce fracture risk.”
The study looked at over 22,000 patients with an average age of 70. The risk of bone fractures among those taking thiazide was 21 percent lower, compared to those not taking the medication or those taking other blood pressure medications.
However, this newly revealed benefit does not automatically make thiazides the first choice for every patient. Dr. Messer stressed the importance of individualized treatment because, as with any drug, there are risks and side effects involved. Doctors should always take into consideration a patient’s own risk factors and medical history when prescribing medications.
The findings were published in JAMA Internal Medicine.