The Pryor Times

February 15, 2013

Is medication increasing risk of hip fractures?

Associated Press

— Surgeon shares tips to prevent

life-changing injury

Women sustain three-quarters of all hip fractures, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Now, there’s yet another concern for Florida’s senior women – heartburn medication, such as Prilosec or Prevacid, further increase their risk.

A recent British Medical Journal report found that former and current female smokers who had taken proton pump inhibitors at least three times a week for more than two years had a 50 percent increased risk of breaking a hip.

One of the most common life changers for otherwise healthy older Americans, and those with other medical problems, is breaking a hip, says award-winning orthopedic surgeon Marc S. Stevens.

“About half of patients who suffer a hip fracture have problems walking afterward, and about a fourth are unable to live independently afterwards. It’s one of the No. 1 reasons older adults move into nursing homes,” says Stevens,, an AMA Physician Recognition Award recipient.

People with osteoporosis – a bone-thinning condition that affects 44 million Americans – have a much greater risk of suffering a fracture, Stevens says. Bones lose strength with increased age, and osteoporosis primarily affects women older than 50, but men make up 20 percent of osteoporosis suffers, he says. There are more than 4.1 million Floridians over the age of 60.

“The most common fractures are to hips, vertebrae and wrists – the bones that experience the most physical stress on a daily basis. Spinal fractures can also seriously affect a person’s quality of life. They often have a difficult time bathing, dressing, or walking independently,” he says.

Stevens offers tips for preventing a broken hip:

• Focus on osteoporosis & nutrition: Stevens says he advises his patients – especially women – to prevent osteoporosis by consuming bone-healthy vitamins, such as Vitamin D, calcium, manganese, magnesium and other crucial building blocks for Type I Collagen. Regular exercise also helps strengthen bones.

• Avoid common accidents: While time, lack of adequate nutrition and chronic conditions such as osteoporosis make bones susceptible to breaks, a fall often finishes the job. Most injuries occur at home – where we spend most of our time. Keep pathways to the bathroom well-lighted at night to help reduce the risk. If you have area rugs, make sure they’re secured to the floor. Install grab bars in the tub or shower.

• O3 Bone & Joint Premium: Originally developed for his patients by Dr. Stevens and his staff, this beverage mix brings together all of the essential nutrients for optimum bone health. The product – found in Florida Walmart locations in Miami, Jacksonville, Tampa Bay, Orlando and Ocala – it’s especially helpful for people with osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and chronic pain. This natural formula has been used as an alternative to surgery or drugs.

“Osteoporosis is currently not a curable condition – but it can often be prevented simply through exercise, good nutrition, not smoking and not drinking excessively,” Stevens says. “There is nothing sadder than to see one of my older, healthy patients go from happy, independent lifestyles to assisted-living or nursing homes because of a fall.”