Association of Alpha-Blockers and 5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors in Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia With Fractures: A Meta-analysis and Systematic Review of the Literature
Lim SY, Laengvejkal P, Panikkath R, Nugent K. Am J Med Sci. 2013 Nov 21. [Epub ahead of print]

Source

Department of Internal Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:: Alpha-blockers and 5-alpha reductase inhibitors are common drugs used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a prevalent problem in older men associated with significant morbidity and cost. Data regarding how these medications affect skeletal health and fracture risk remain scarce.

METHODS: Studies were identified by searching PubMed, EMBASE, the Cochrane library and Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge. Studies involving BPH patients that reported odds ratio (OR) estimates with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association between fractures and exposure to 5-alpha reductase inhibitors or alpha-blockers were included. Pooled ORs were calculated using the random-effects model.

RESULTS: Three studies addressed fracture risk in patients exposed to 5-alpha reductase inhibitors (21,366 fracture cases). Four studies addressed fracture risk in patients exposed to alpha-blockers (22,051 fracture cases). The pooled OR for fractures with 5-alpha reductase inhibitor use was 0.9 (95% CI = 0.7-1.1). For hip/femur fractures with 5-alpha reductase inhibitor use, the pooled OR was 0.8 (95% CI = 0.7-1.0). The pooled OR for fractures with alpha-blockers was 1.1 (95% CI = 0.9-1.3). There was significant statistical heterogeneity among studies for alpha-blockers.

CONCLUSIONS: In patients with BPH, exposure to 5-alpha reductase inhibitors was not associated with change in fracture risk. The 5-alpha reductase inhibitors may have a small protective effect against hip/femur fractures although this was not statistically significant. Although alpha-blockers were not associated with change in fracture risk, caution is required when interpreting the results as significant heterogeneity was present.