Summary — This study compared population hip fracture rates for women with a prior fragility fracture who were treated with first-generation versus second-generation bisphosphonate therapies. The observational study found that, relative to women treated with etidronate, a first-generation bisphosphonate, women treated with the second-generation therapies ‘alendronate’ or ‘risedronate’ were equally likely to be admitted to hospital for hip fracture. Our findings must be confirmed in large randomized head-to-head controlled trials.
Introduction — Few studies have examined hip fracture outcomes among users of first- versus second-generation bisphosphonates. We compared hip fracture rates among elderly women with a history of fracture dispensed first- and second-generation bisphosphonates, hypothesizing that hip fracture rates would be higher among users of first- versus second-generation bisphosphonates after adjusting for confounders.
Methods — Administrative data from Ontario, Canada from 01 April 1998 to 31 March 2002 was used to identify population-based bisphosphonate-naïve cohorts of subjects age 66 years and older initiated on first- (etidronate plus calcium; n = 19,127) or second-generation (alendronate or risedronate; n = 1,460) bisphosphonates. Multivariate Cox proportional hazard models were used for analysis.
Results — During over 23,000 person-years of follow-up, we observed 293 hospital admissions for first hip fracture. The unadjusted event rates yielded approximately 12.5 hospital admissions for hip fracture per 1,000 person-years of follow-up in each study group. Relative to the etidronate plus calcium group, females in the alendronate or risedronate group were equally likely to be admitted for hip fracture (adjusted rate ratio [aRR] = 1.0; 95% CI 0.6–1.6).
Conclusions — The findings of this study suggest similar rates of hip fracture between the first- and second-generation bisphosphonates when used continuously among elderly females with a prior history of fracture.