Diabetes Drugs Linked to Increased Fracture Risk in Women

The Physicians Committee

Diabetes Drugs Linked to Increased Fracture Risk in Women

December 12, 2008

Avandia and Actos, two diabetes drugs, double the risk of bone fractures in women with type 2 diabetes, according to a new report by researchers at Wake Forest University and Britain's University of East Anglia.

The researchers analyzed 10 studies of more than 14,000 diabetes patients and found that both Avandia and Actos doubled women's risk of bone fractures, but had no effect on men's risk of bone fractures. Researchers stated that the underlying cause of the sex-specific effect on fractures was unclear, but they suggested the drugs may cause the problem by replacing bone marrow with fat cells.

Other well-known concerns about these medications include weight gain, increased risk of heart failure, and expense of around $110 per month. This new study highlights the need to promote the effectiveness of lifestyle modifications in managing type 2 diabetes. PCRM's recent study, published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, showed the beneficial effects of a low-fat vegan diet for type 2 diabetes, without any harmful side effects.

Singh S, Loke YK. The safety of rosiglitazone in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. Pharma Sci. 2008;7(5):579-585.

Turner-McGrievy GM, Barnard ND, Cohen J, Jenkins DJA, Gloede L, Green AA. Changes in nutrient intake and dietary quality among participants with type 2 diabetes following a low-fat vegan diet or a conventional diabetes diet for 22 weeks. J Am Diet Assoc. 2008;108:1636-1645.

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