Benzodiazepines Linked with Increased Risk of Hip Fracture in Alzheimer’s Disease

December 2, 2016

People with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) who are prescribed benzodiazepines have a 43% increased risk of hip fracture, a large Finnish study has found.

In a retrospective analysis of 46,373 AD patients, researchers found that one in five patients (or 21.1%) had initiated benzodiazepine use over the six-year study period (2005–2011).

In contrast, only 12.8% of the 92,746 age-matched control population were prescribed with benzodiazepines, drugs used to alleviate anxiety, agitation, and sleep disturbances. The authors, who report their findings in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association[1] (online, 12 November 2016), found that although use of benzodiazepines increased the risk of hip fracture across the board, patients with AD were more likely (odds ratio 1.90) to end up in hospital for longer than four months after the fracture.