HealthDay News — For patients with hip fracture, receipt of nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates (N-BPs) is associated with a lower risk for pneumonia and pneumonia mortality, according to a study published online June 2 in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

Chor-Wing Sing, from the University of Hong Kong, and colleagues studied a historical cohort using a population-wide database. Patients with first hip fracture during 2005 to 2015 were identified and matched by time-dependent propensity score; the cohort was followed through Dec. 31, 2016, for pneumonia and pneumonia mortality.

A total of 54,047 patients with hip fracture were identified. Of these, 4,041 received N-BPs and were propensity score-matched with 11,802 without anti-osteoporosis medication use. The researchers found that compared with no treatment, N-BPs were associated with a significantly lower risk for pneumonia (6.9 versus 9.0 per 100 person-years; hazard ratio, 0.76), resulting in an absolute risk difference of 0.02 and number needed to treat of 46. There was a similar association noted with pneumonia mortality (hazard ratio, 0.65). The association remained significant when N-BPs were compared with non-N-BP anti-osteoporosis medications.

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“Drug repositioning of N-BPs as a pneumonia-prevention drug, especially in high-risk groups (e.g., patients with osteoporosis), may be of public health importance,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical and other industries.

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