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Benzodiazepine use increases risk of hip fracture in people with Alzheimer’s disease

The use of benzodiazepines and related drugs increases the risk of hip fracture by 43% in people with Alzheimer’s disease, say researchers from the University of Eastern Finland. 

The use of benzodiazepines and related drugs increases the risk of hip fracture by 43% in people with Alzheimer’s disease, say researchers from the University of Eastern Finland. 


The hip fracture risk increased especially during the first six months of
drug use, the researchers said. Picture: iStock

They studied 46,373 people with Alzheimer’s disease who had no history of hip fractures and who had not used benzodiazepines or related drugs during the year preceding the study.

In total, 21% of people with Alzheimer’s disease started benzodiazepine or related drug use during the study. 

Following guidelines 

The researchers found that during benzodiazepine and related drug use, 2.5 hip fractures occurred per 100 person-years. Without drug use, the incidence was 1.4 hip fractures per 100 person-years. The hip fracture risk increased especially during the first six months of drug use, the researchers said. 

The study results highlight the importance of following guidelines on using non-pharmacological approaches to treat behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia, they added. 


Saarelainen L et al (2016) Risk of hip fracture in benzodiazepine users with and without Alzheimer’s disease. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2016.09.019. 

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