Fracture risk in perimenopausal women treated with beta-blockers.Calcif Tissue Int. 2004 Nov; 75(5):365-72.CT
beta2-Adrenergic receptors have been identified on human osteoblastic and osteoclastic cells, raising the question of a sympathetic regulation of bone metabolism. We investigated effects of treatment with beta-adrenergic receptor antagonists (beta-blockers) on bone turnover, bone mineral density (BMD), and fracture risk. Within the Danish Osteoporosis Prevention Study (DOPS) a population based, comprehensive cohort study of 2016 perimenopausal women, associations between treatment with beta-blockers and bone turnover and BMD were assessed in a cross-sectional design at the start of study. Moreover, in a nested case-control design, fracture risk during the subsequent 5 years was assessed in relation to treatment with beta-blockers at baseline. Multiple regression- and logistic regression-analyses were performed. Treatment with beta-blockers was associated with a threefold increased fracture risk (OR(adj) 3.3; 95% CI: 1.1-9.4). Analyses on duration of treatment showed that women who had been treated for more than 8 years had a higher fracture risk (OR(adj) 5.3; 95% CI: 1.1-26.3) than those treated for less than 8 years (OR(adj) 2.4; 95% CI: 0.6-9.5). In addition, cross-sectional data showed 20% lower serum osteocalcin levels (an osteoblastic marker of bone formation) in women treated with beta-blockers compared to untreated women (P < 0.001), whereas BMD at the lumbar spine and femoral neck did not differ between groups. beta-Blockers may decrease the activity of bone-forming cells and thereby increase fracture risk. However, confirmative studies and studies exploring mechanisms of action are needed.