From the Journals

PBC linked to increased risk of bone fracture



Patients with primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) may have an increase in the risk of developing bone fracture, according to Jian Zhao, MD, and associates.

In four cross-sectional studies, 515 patients were examined to assess the prevalence of fracture in a PBC population. Of those patients, the estimated prevalence of fracture was 15.2%. In four additional studies, 1,002 patients and 8,805 controls were examined to assess the relative risk of fracture among PBC patients. Those results found a significantly increased risk of fracture in PBC patients with the pooled odds ratio of 1.93.

It is noted that multiple factors underlie the osteopenic bone disease in PBC. In addition to cholestasis, risk factors include female sex, low body mass index, advanced age, and history of fragility fracture. Steroid use may also contribute to bone loss in PBC, especially in autoimmune hepatitis–primary biliary cholangitis overlap syndrome.

“The prevalence of bone fracture among PBC patients is relatively high and PBC increases the risk of fracture,” the researchers concluded. “Calcium and vitamin D supplementation or even bisphosphonate therapy should be recommended for PBC patients with bone loss to decrease the risk of fracture.”

Read the study in Clinics and Research in Hepatology and Gastroenterology (doi: 10.1016/j.clinre.2017.05.008).

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