Around 3 million people suffer from osteoporosis in the UK and about 27% of those have at least moderate chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Osteoporosis weakens bones and makes them fragile and more likely to break. Currently, first line therapies for the prevention of the condition include oral bisphosphonates, a type of drug known to reduce the risk of fracture and improve bone density within 6 months of therapy. However, little is known about the impact of this type of drug on chronic kidney disease.
The new study, to start in December this year, will provide key information on the association between oral bisphosphonates and both the rates of fractures (benefit) and potential side effects amongst patients with different stages of CKD. This will benefit not only patients and but also the NHS: clarifying whether the use of this type of drug is safe and effective in patients with CKD will enable an informed decision on whether UK patients with CKD should be treated with these drugs.
Associate Professor Daniel Prieto-Alhambra says: "Patients with renal impairment have an increased risk of fractures. However, the most commonly used drugs to prevent these could have serious side effects for them. We will use data from thousands of patients with CKD who have been previously exposed to bisphosphonates to determine whether these medications are both safe and effective for them."
The study will use 'real life' data as routinely collected in NHS clinical practice, including primary and hospital care anonymised records for millions of UK people, ensuring the study fully represents the general population of patients. This will make our findings a key piece of information for clinicians treating and patients suffering from kidney impairment considering bisphosphonate therapy across the NHS.
You can read more about this study here.
This project is funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment, with project number 14/36/02: Risks and benefits of bisphosphonate use in patients with chronic kidney disease: a population-based cohort study.