Sulfonylureas and Risk of Falls and Fractures Among Nursing Home Residents With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

August 2015. It is known that sulfonylurea drugs increase hypoglycemia, which may in turn increase the risk of patients’ falling and incurring bone fractures. However, evidence is limited and inconsistent regarding the specific association between sulfonylurea use and falls/fractures. This propensity-matched retrospective cohort study evaluated 12,327 long-term nursing home patients. Medicare data were used to identify hypoglycemic events and hospitalizations for fracture/falls in patients with type 2 diabetes initiated on monotherapy with sulfonylureas or metformin. Investigators found that falls were common in all patients (37.4 per 100 person-years). Sulfonylurea use was not associated with a higher fracture risk but was associated with an increased fall rate among nursing home residents with moderate limitations in activities of daily living (ADL) (hazard ratio 1.13; 95% confidence interval, 1.00-1.26). No elevated falling risk was observed for patients with minimal ADL limitations. You can read the study abstract at this link