Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine studied medical records of 145,000 people in England. The hip-fracture rate among patients taking proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) to treat gastroesophagel reflux disease (GERD) was 44 percent higher than for those not taking the drugs. About 79 percent of the patients studied were women.
PPIs include Nexium, Prevacid and Prilosec. Nexium is the third-largest selling drug in the world.
Many studies suggest that PPIs interfere with calcium absorption. Getting enough calcium is especially important for people 50 years of age and older who take PPIs. Both diet and calcium supplements are recommended.
To fight GERD without drugs, doctors say:
* Eat smaller meals and eat more often. Skip coffee, citrus juices, carbonated beverages, and alcohol.
* Lose weight. Obesity has been linked to heartburn.
* Don’t smoke.
* Avoid tight-fitting waistbands and clothes that squeeze your middle.
* Elevate the head of your bed by six to eight inches.
* Avoid lying down or bending over immediately after meals.