Research suggests beta-blockers may prevent osteoporosis fractures

A recent study by Australian researchers suggests that cardiovascular medications known as beta-blockers can decrease the risk of osteoporosis-related bone fractures by half. The drugs, which are taken by about 20 percent of the country's population, produced results that were "comparable with anti-osteoporosis medications," according to the Australian Associated Press.

Professor Tuan Nguyen from Sydney's Garvan Institute of Medical Research, told AAP that his team found that men and women who used beta-blockers had a 50 percent lower risk of fracture than those not using beta-blockers.

Prof Nguyen and PhD student Shuman Yang analysed data from the Dubbo Osteoporosis Epidemiology study, which looked at more than 3,500 Australian older men and women and tracked their health for more than two decades.

Their findings, which are published in the journal Bone, are also significant because those who take beta-blockers are usually approaching the age of highest risk for osteoporosis.

Prof Nguyen said finding such a "brain - bone" connection could revolutionize the understanding of degenerative skeletal conditions, and point to new targets for treatment.

According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, 44 million Americans are at increased risk for bone fracture.
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