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1.  A simple score for estimating the long-term risk of fracture in patients with multiple sclerosis 
Neurology  2012;79(9):922-928.
To derive a simple score for estimating the long-term risk of osteoporotic and hip fracture in individual patients with MS.
Using the UK General Practice Research Database linked to the National Hospital Registry (1997–2008), we identified patients with incident MS (n = 5,494). They were matched 1:6 by year of birth, sex, and practice with patients without MS (control subjects). Cox proportional hazards models were used to calculate the long-term risk of osteoporotic and hip fracture. We fitted the regression model with general and specific risk factors, and the final Cox model was converted into integer risk scores.
In comparison with the FRAX calculator, our risk score contains several new risk factors that have been linked with fracture, which include MS, use of antidepressants, use of anticonvulsants, history of falling, and history of fatigue. We estimated the 5- and 10-year risks of osteoporotic and hip fracture in relation to the risk score. The C-statistic was moderate (0.67) for the prediction of osteoporotic fracture and excellent (0.89) for the prediction of hip fracture.
This is the first clinical risk score for fracture risk estimation involving MS as a risk factor.
PMCID: PMC3425841  PMID: 22895583
2.  Risk of Fracture with Thiazolidinediones: An Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis 
Background: The use of thiazolidinediones (TZDs) has been associated with increased fracture risks. Our aim was to estimate the risk of fracture with TZDs in three different healthcare registries, using exactly the same study design, and to perform an individual patient data meta-analysis of these three studies.
Methods: Population-based cohort studies were performed utilizing the British General Practice Research Database (GPRD), the Dutch PHARMO Record Linkage System (RLS), and the Danish National Health Registers. In all three databases, the exposed cohort consisted of all patients (aged 18+) with at least one prescription of antidiabetic (AD) medication. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) of fracture. The total period of follow-up for each patient was divided into periods of current exposure and past exposure, with patients moving between current and past use.
Results: In all three registries, the risk of fracture was increased for women who were exposed to TZDs: HR 1.48 (1.37–1.60) in GPRD, HR 1.35 (1.15–1.58) in PHARMO, and HR 1.22 (1.03–1.44) in Denmark. Combining the data in an individual patient data meta-analysis resulted, for women, in a 1.4-fold increased risk of any fracture for current TZD users versus other AD drug users [adj. HR 1.44 (1.35–1.53)]. For men, there was no increased fracture risk [adj. HR 1.05 (0.96–1.14)]. Risks were increased for fractures of the radius/ulna, humerus, tibia/fibula, ankle, and foot, but not for hip/femur or vertebral fractures. Current TZD users with more than 25 TZD prescriptions ever before had a 1.6-fold increased risk of fracture compared with other AD drug users [HR 1.59 (1.46–1.74)].
Conclusion: In this study, we consistently found a 1.2- to 1.5-fold increased risk of fractures for women using TZDs, but not for men, across three different healthcare registries. TZD users had an increased risk for fractures of the extremities, and risks further increased for prolonged users of TZDs.
PMCID: PMC3582108  PMID: 23549934
thiazolidinediones; fracture; individual patient data; meta-analysis; epidemiology
3.  Risk of Fracture with Thiazolidinediones: Disease or Drugs? 
Calcified Tissue International  2012;90(6):450-457.
The use of thiazolidinediones (TZDs) has been associated with an increased fracture risk. In addition, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) has been linked with fracture. We evaluated to what extent the association between TZD use and fracture risk is related to the drug or to the underlying disease. We conducted a population-based cohort study using the Danish National Health Registers (1996–2007), which link pharmacy data to the national hospital registry. Oral antidiabetic users (n = 180,049) were matched 1:3 by year of birth and sex to nonusers. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) of fracture. Time-dependent adjustments were made for age, comorbidity, and drug use. We created a proxy indicator for the severity of disease. The first stage was defined as current use of either a biguanide or a sulfonyluerum, the second stage as current use of a biguanide and a sulfonyluerum at the same time, the third stage as patients using TZDs, and the fourth stage as patients using insulin. The risk of osteoporotic fracture was increased 1.3-fold for stages 3 and 4 compared with controls. Risk with current TZD use (stage 3 HR = 1.27, 95 % CI 1.06–1.52) and risk with current use of insulin (stage 4 HR = 1.25, 95 % CI 1.20–1.31) were similar. In the first (HR = 1.15, 95 % CI 1.13–1.18) and second (HR = 1.00, 95 % CI 0.96–1.04) stages risks were lower. Risk of osteoporotic fracture was similar for TZD users and insulin users. When studying fracture risk with TZDs, the underlying T2DM should be taken into account.
PMCID: PMC3349019  PMID: 22488176
Thiazolidinedione; Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Fracture risk; Osteoporosis
4.  The Risk of Fracture in Patients With Multiple Sclerosis: The UK General Practice Research Database 
Journal of Bone and Mineral Research  2011;26(9):2271-2279.
Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) may be at an increased risk of fracture owing to a greater risk of falling and decreased bone mineral density when compared with the general population. This study was designed to estimate the relative and absolute risk of fracture in patients with MS. We conducted a population-based cohort study using data from the UK General Practice Research Database linked to the National Hospital Registry (1997–2008). Incident MS patients (n = 5565) were matched 1:6 by year of birth, sex, and practice with patients without MS (controls). Cox proportional-hazards models were used to derive adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for fracture associated with MS. Time-dependent adjustments were made for age, comorbidity, and drug use. Absolute 5- and 10-year risks of fracture were estimated for MS patients as a function of age. Compared with controls, MS patients had an almost threefold increased risk of hip fracture [HR = 2.79, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.83–4.26] and a risk of osteoporotic fracture that was increased 1.4-fold (HR = 1.35, 95% CI 1.13–1.62). Risk was greater in patients who had been prescribed oral/intravenous glucocorticoids (GCs; HR = 1.85, 95% CI 1.14–2.98) or antidepressants (HR = 1.79, 95% CI 1.37–2.35) in the previous 6 months. Absolute fracture risks were low in younger MS patients but became substantial when patients were older than 60 years of age. It is concluded that MS is associated with an increased risk of fracture. Fracture risk assessment may be indicated in patients with MS, especially those prescribed GCs or antidepressants. © 2011 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research
PMCID: PMC3193376  PMID: 21557309
5.  Risk of fracture after bariatric surgery in the United Kingdom: population based, retrospective cohort study  
Objectives To estimate fracture risk in patients receiving bariatric surgery versus matched controls.
Design Population based, retrospective cohort study.
Setting Use of records from the United Kingdom General Practice Research Database, now known as the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (from January 1987 to December 2010).
Participants Patients with a body mass index of at least 30, with a record of bariatric surgery (n=2079), and matched controls without a record (n=10 442). Each bariatric surgery patient was matched to up to six controls by age, sex, practice, year, and body mass index. Patients were followed from the date of bariatric surgery for the occurrence of any fracture. We used time dependent Cox regression to calculate relative rates of fracture, adjusted for disease and previous drug treatment, and time-interaction terms to evaluate fracture timing patterns.
Main outcome measure Relative rates of any, osteoporotic, and non-osteoporotic fractures.
Results Mean follow-up time was 2.2 years. Overall, there was no significantly increased risk of fracture in patients who underwent bariatric surgery, compared with controls (8.8 v 8.2 per 1000 person years; adjusted relative risk 0.89, 95% confidence interval 0.60 to 1.33). Bariatric surgery also did not affect risk of osteoporotic and non-osteoporotic fractures. However, we saw a trend towards an increased fracture risk after three to five years following surgery, as well as in patients who had a greater decrease in body mass index after surgery, but this was not significant.
Conclusion Bariatric surgery does not have a significant effect on the risk of fracture. For the first few years after surgery, these results are reassuring for patients undergoing such operations, but do not exclude a more protracted adverse influence on skeletal health in the longer term.
PMCID: PMC3413006  PMID: 22867649
6.  Use of Insulin and Insulin Analogs and Risk of Cancer — Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies 
Current Drug Safety  2014;8(1):333-348.
An association of insulin use and risk of cancer has been reported but evidence is conflicting and methodological issues have been identified.
To summarize results regarding insulin use and cancer risk by a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort and case-control studies examining risk of cancer associated with insulin use in patients with diabetes.
Data Sources:
Systematic literature search in 5 databases: PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, Scopus and Cochrane Library.
Study Eligibility Criteria (PICOS):
Population: diabetes patients. Exposure: Users of any exogenous insulin. Comparison: Diabetes patients with or without use of antidiabetic drugs. Outcome: Any incident cancer. Study Design: Cohort and case-control studies.
42 eligible studies examined risk of any cancer and 27 site-specific cancers. Results of individual studies were heterogeneous. Meta-analyses were significant for: Insulin vs No Insulin: Increased risk for pancreas, liver, kidney, stomach and respiratory cancer, decreased risk for prostate cancer. Insulin vs Non-Insulin Antidiabetics: Increased risk for any, pancreatic and colorectal cancer. Glargine vs Non-Glargine Insulin: Increased risk for breast cancer, decreased risk for colon cancer.
Few studies available for most cancer sites and exposure contrasts, and few assess effect of dose and duration of exposure. Methodological issues in several studies. Availability of confounders.
Insulin use was associated with risk of cancer at several sites. Cautious interpretation of results is warranted as methodological issues and limitations in several of the included studies have been identified. Choice of study design may have a profound effect on estimated cancer risk.
PMCID: PMC3899599  PMID: 24215311
Cancer risk; diabetes mellitus; insulin; neoplasm; meta-analysis; systematic review.

Results 1-6 (6)