Risk of fractures in patients with multiple sclerosis: a population-based cohort study

M.T. Bazelier, TP van Staa, B.M.J. Uitdehaag, C. Cooper, H.G.M. Leufkens, P. Vestergaard, R.M.C. Herings, F. de Vries

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OBJECTIVE: To examine the risk of fracture in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) compared with population-based controls. METHODS: A population-based cohort study was performed in the Dutch PHARMO Record Linkage System (1998-2008). Patients with MS (n = 2,415) were matched by year of birth, sex, and practice to up to 6 patients without MS (controls). We used Cox proportional hazards models to estimate the hazard ratio (HR) of fracture in MS. Time-dependent adjustments were made for age, history of disease, and drug use. RESULTS: During follow-up, there were 59 fractures among patients with MS (2.4%) and 227 fractures among controls (1.8%). Patients with MS had a 1.7-fold increased risk of osteoporotic fracture (HR 1.73 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.18-2.53]) and a 4-fold increased risk of hip fracture (HR 4.08 [95% CI 2.21-7.56]). The risk of osteoporotic fracture was significantly greater for patients with MS who had been prescribed antidepressants (HR 3.25 [95% CI 1.77-5.97]) or hypnotics/anxiolytics (HR 3.40 [95% CI 2.06-5.63]) in the previous 6 months, compared with controls. CONCLUSIONS: Increased awareness of the risk of hip fracture is warranted in patients with MS, especially in those who have recently been prescribed antidepressants or hypnotics/anxiolytics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1967-1973
Number of pages7
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Adolescent Adult Aged Cohort Studies Databases, Factual Female Fractures, Bone/*complications Hip Fractures/complications Humans Male Middle Aged Multiple Sclerosis/*complications Netherlands Osteoporotic Fractures/complications Risk Risk Factors

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