Effect of Bisphosphonates on Fracture Outcomes Among Frail Older Adults

TitleEffect of Bisphosphonates on Fracture Outcomes Among Frail Older Adults
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsZullo AR, Zhang T, Lee Y, McConeghy KW, Daiello LA, Kiel DP, Mor V, Berry SD
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
ISBN Number0002-8614
Accession NumberWOS:000464350900019

BACKGROUND Bisphosphonates are seldom used in frail, older adults, in part due to lack of direct evidence of efficacy in this population and increasing concerns about safety. OBJECTIVE We estimated the effects of bisphosphonates on hip fractures, nonvertebral fractures, and severe esophagitis among frail, older adults. DESIGN Population-based retrospective cohort using 2008 to 2013 linked national Minimum Data Set assessments; Online Survey Certification and Reporting System records; and Medicare claims. SETTING US nursing homes (NHs). PARTICIPANTS Long-stay NH residents 65 years and older without recent osteoporosis medication use (N = 24,571). Bisphosphonate initiators were 1:1 propensity score matched to calcitonin initiators (active comparator). MEASUREMENTS Hospitalized hip fracture, nonvertebral fracture, and esophagitis outcomes were measured using part A claims. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated, controlling for over 100 baseline characteristics. RESULTS The matched cohort included 5209 new bisphosphonate users and an equal number of calcitonin users (mean age [SD] = 85 [8] years; 87% female; 52% moderate-severe cognitive impairment). Over a mean follow-up of 2.5 (SD = 1.7) years, 568 residents (5.5%) had a hip fracture, 874 (8.4%) had a nonvertebral fracture, and 199 (1.9%) had a hospitalized esophagitis event. Users of bisphosphonates were less likely than calcitonin users to experience hip fracture (HR = 0.83; 95% CI = 0.71-0.98), with an average gain in time without fracture of 28.4 days (95% CI = 6.0-50.8 days). Bisphosphonate and calcitonin users had similar rates of nonvertebral fracture (HR = 0.91; 95% CI = 0.80-1.03) and esophagitis events (HR = 1.11; 95% CI = 0.84-1.47). The effects of bisphosphonates on fractures and esophagitis were generally homogeneous across subgroups, including those defined by age, sex, history of prior fracture, and baseline fracture risk. CONCLUSIONS Use of bisphosphonates is associated with a meaningful reduction in hip fracture among frail, older adults, but little difference in nonvertebral fracture or severe esophagitis. J Am Geriatr Soc 67:768–776, 2019.

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Short TitleJournal of the American Geriatrics Society