Calcified Tissue International

, Volume 79, Issue 2, pp 84–94 | Cite as

Fracture Risk Associated with Use of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, Acetylsalicylic Acid, and Acetaminophen and the Effects of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis

  • P. Vestergaard
  • L. Rejnmark
  • L. Mosekilde


We studied the effects of various nonmorphine pain medications as well as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis on fracture risk in a nationwide case-control study. Cases were all subjects with any fracture sustained during the year 2000 (n = 124,655) in Denmark. For each case, three controls (n = 373,962) matched on age and gender were randomly drawn from the background population. The primary exposure variables were use of acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or acetylsalicylic acid (ASA). Adjustments were made for several confounders. The effect of dose was examined by stratifying for cumulated dose (defined daily dose, DDD). For acetaminophen, a small increase in overall fracture risk was observed with use within the last year (odds ratio [OR] = 1.45, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.41–1.49). For ASA, no increase in overall fracture risk was present with recent use. Significant heterogeneity was present for the NSAIDs; e.g., ibuprofen was associated with an increased overall fracture risk (OR = 2.09, 95% CI 2.00–2.18 for <20 DDD), while celecoxib was not (OR = 0.76, 95% CI 0.51–1.13 for <20 DDD, 2P < 0.01 for comparison). Osteoarthritis was associated with a decreased risk of any fracture if the diagnosis had been made more than 1 year ago (OR = 0.70, 95% CI 0.67–0.72). Rheumatoid arthritis was associated with an increase in overall fracture risk if the diagnosis had been made within the last year (OR = 1.86, 95% CI 1.68–2.07). Weak analgesics may be associated with fracture risk in a varying way. The effects in most cases were small. Falls may be one reason for the increase in fracture risk with some NSAIDs.


Fracture Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug Acetaminophen Risk Rheumatoid arthritis Osteoarthritis 



Danmarks Statistik (Statistics Denmark) is acknowledged for the help without which this project would not have been possible. Research librarian Ms. Edith Clausen is acknowledged for invaluable help with the references. The Danish Medical Research Council granted financial support (grant 22-04-0495).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Endocrinology and MetabolismAarhus Sygehus, Aarhus University HospitalAarhus CDenmark

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