Study Finds Proton Pump Inhibitors Not Linked to Bone Loss in Women

Dr. Karen Hansen

Karen Hansen, MD, MS, associate professor, Rheumatology, contributed an article to Healio Gastroenterology about research she led on proton pump inhibitor drugs (PPIs). The work was presented at the Digestive Disease Week (DDW) conference on May 6-9, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois.

"Our team performed a randomized, placebo-controlled study in postmenopausal women to test the potential effect of PPIs on bone loss, calcium absorption and mineral levels. We focused on older women, because these individuals have the highest risk of osteoporosis, and could be harmed most by taking PPIs," wrote Dr. Hansen.

While several observational studies in recent years have suggested a link between PPI therapy and risk of osteoporosis with bone fractures, a study of postmenopausal women by Dr. Hansen and colleagues found no PPI-related significant changes in bone mineral density, intestinal calcium absorption, or calcium, phosphorous or vitamin D levels. 

“While we cannot completely exclude the possibility that PPIs could cause fractures after very long exposure, our results indicate that people can take PPI therapy for up to 6 months without any significant effect on bone metabolism or bone density. Therefore, our study suggests that physicians should be reassured in prescribing PPIs for 6 months,” she wrote.

Funding for the study was provided by Takeda.