Researchers from Derby, Connecticut found that diuretics, drugs that successfully lower blood pressure and prevent heart failure may be, on the other hand, steeling calcium from the bones and causing significant bone loss in men taking them.

During two years period, between 2000 and 2002, the researchers followed the bone mineral density levels of 3,269 men older than age 65. The researchers also looked at the medication these men were taking during the study period. Eighty-four of the men were continuous users of diuretics, 181 were intermittent users and around 3000 were non-users. The follow-up occurred about 4.6 years later.

The study results showed that the average annual rate of decline in total hip bone mineral density was -0.78 among continuous users, -0.58 among intermittent users and -0.33 among nonusers.

In comparison to the rates of hipbone loss among the non-users of diuretics, adjusted rates of loss were about twofold greater among intermittent diuretic users and about 2.5-fold greater among continuous loop diuretic users. The findings were similar for change at the femoral neck and trochanter.

These findings have only confirmed the previous ones linking the use of diuretics and increased risk of fractures. They give clear evidence that health care providers need to take into account the use of diuretic if evaluating older men for risk factors for bone loss and fracture risk but also think properly before prescribing this medicine to them.