Fracture risk increased in primary biliary cirrhosis

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NEW YORK (Reuters Health), Jan 30 - Patients with primary biliary cirrhosis have a slightly increased risk of fracture compared to the general population, according to researchers in the U.K.

"Controversy exists as to whether people with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) have an increased risk of developing osteoporosis and the extent to which this may translate into an increased risk of fracture," Dr. Joe West from the University of Nottingham and colleagues write in the December issue of Gastroenterology.

Using the General Practice Research Database, the researchers conducted a cohort study involving 930 subjects with PBC and 9,202 age- and sex-matched controls.

Among the subjects with PBC, there were 137 recorded incident fractures of any type, 25 incident hip fractures, and 44 incident ulna/radius fractures. The overall rates of any fracture for the PBC and control groups were 258 and 133 per 10,000 person-years, respectively. The hazard ratio for fractures of any type was 2.04 for the PBC cohort compared with the control group. For hip and ulna/radius fractures, the HRs were 2.14 and 1.95, respectively.

"The absolute excess in fracture rates were for any fracture 12.5 per 1000 person-years, for hip fracture 1.9 per 1000 person-years, and for ulna/radius fracture 3.4 per 1000 person-years," Dr. West and colleagues report.

"The relative increases might suggest that interventions to prevent fracture in people with PBC are appropriate," the team comments, "yet the absolute increases indicate that only small reductions in fracture occurrence would be expected."

Last Updated: 2007-01-29 13:16:32 -0400 (Reuters Health)

Gastroenterology 2006;131:1752-1757.

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