Lead Author(s): 

Nicole C. Wright, PhD, MPH

Multiple comorbidities create further challenges in the care of osteoporosis patients. Certain comorbidities and the medications used to treat them could also negatively impact bone health, for example, rheumatoid arthritis and the corticosteroids used in symptom relief. A recent study evaluated the comorbidities of women with and without osteoporosis in the Geisinger Health System.1 Of the comorbidities commonly found among women with osteoporosis compared to women without osteoporosis, two have known independent and/or drug-related adverse effects on bone. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) was found in 55.6 per 1,000 person-years in women with osteoporosis versus 40.3 per 1,000 person-years in those without, while depression was found in 46.8 versus 36.9 per 1,000 person-years in the respective groups.1 Diagnosed depression,2,3 depressive symptoms,4,5,6,7,8 and medications used to treat depression9,10,11,12,13 have been associated with osteoporosis and fractures. Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) are a common GERD treatment. The use of PPIs, particularly at high doses, has been associated with higher overall fracture risk14,15,16,17,18 and hip fracture risk.19,20,21 Like the prevalence of osteoporosis, the number of comorbidities increases with aging. Comorbidities compete with health care and medication priorities and may contribute to the low adherence levels to osteoporosis drugs.

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  • 2014

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