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  • Risk of cardiac valvulopathy with use of bisphosphonates: a population-based, multi-country case-control study
Coloma PM, deRidder M, Bezemer I, Herings RM, Gini R, Pecchioli S, Scotti L, Rijnbeek P, Mosseveld M, van der Lei J, Trifiro G, Sturkenboom M, Consortium Eu-Adr. Osteoporos Int. 2016 May; 27 (5): 1857-67.

Analyses of healthcare data from 30 million individuals in three countries showed that current use of bisphosphonates may be associated with a small increased risk of cardiac valvulopathy (vs. those not exposed within the previous year), although cnfounding cannot be entirely ruled out. The observed tendency for decreased valvulopathy risk with cumulative duration of bisphosphonate use >6 months may even indicate a protective effect with prolonged use. Further studies are still needed to evaluatewhether bisphosphonates increase or decrease the risk of valvulopathy. INTRODUCTION: A signal of cardiac valve disorders with use of bisphosphonates was identified in the literature and EudraVigilance database, which contains reports of suspected adversedrug reactions from worldwide sources. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association using population-based healthcare data. METHODS: This was a case-control study among users of bisphosphonates and other drugs for osteoporosis in six healthcaredatabases covering over 30 million individuals in Italy, Netherlands and the UK from 1996 to 2012. Prescriptions/dispensations were used to assess drug exposure. Newly diagnosed cases of cardiac valvulopathy were identified via disease codes/free-text search. Controls were matched to each case by age, sex, database and index date. Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) were estimated using conditional logistic regression for the pooled data and meta-analysis of individual database risk estimates. RESULTS: A smallbut statistically significant association was found between exposure to bisphosphonates as a class and risk of valvulopathy. Overall risk was 18 % higher (95 % CI 12-23 %) in those currently exposed to any bisphosphonate (mainly alendronate and risedronate) vs. those not exposed within the previous year. Risk of valve regurgitation was 14 % higher (95 % CI 7-22 %). Decreased valvulopathy risk was observed with longer cumulative duration of bisphosphonate use, compared to use of less than 6 months. Meta-analyses of database-specific estimates confirmed results from pooled analyses. CONCLUSIONS: The observed increased risks of cardiac valvulopathy with bisphosphonate use, although statistically significant, were quite small and unlikely to be clinicallysignificant. Further studies are still needed to evaluate whether bisphosphonates increase or decrease the risk of valvulopathy and to investigate possible mechanisms for the association.