Original Study| Volume 21, ISSUE 8, P1128-1133.e1, August 2020

Association Between Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors and Osteoporotic Fractures in Older Persons With Alzheimer's Disease

Published:January 13, 2020DOI:



      To identify the association between the use of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs) and risk of osteoporotic fractures in older persons with Alzheimer's disease (AD).

      Design, Setting, and Participants

      A nested case-control study was conducted using the Korean National Health Insurance Service-National Elderly Cohort database. Patients with AD who were newly diagnosed with osteoporotic fractures were identified as cases. Up to 3 controls were matched with cases according to age, sex, and duration of follow-up.


      Participants were considered as exposed to AChEIs if they had been prescribed at least 1 AChEI during a period of 2 years before the index date. A conditional logistic regression was performed to estimate the adjusted odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals for the association between the use of AChEIs and osteoporotic fractures in patients with AD. We also examined the impact of dose, duration of treatment, and timing of exposure on the estimates of the association between the use of AChEIs and risk of osteoporotic fractures.


      The study cohort comprised 45,006 patients diagnosed with AD, of which 9470 patients, including 2385 cases and 7085 controls, were available for the study. The mean ages (standard deviations) were 78.6 (6.9) years in the cases and 80.0 (6.9) years in the controls. Adjusted odds ratios for the association between the use of AChEIs and osteoporotic fractures in patients with AD was 1.18 (95% confidence interval 1.07–1.31).

      Conclusions and Implications

      Our data indicated that the use of AChEIs was not associated with a reduced risk of osteoporotic fractures in patients with AD; in contrast, their use was associated with a mild increased risk of osteoporotic fractures. Thus, clinicians should consider the possibility of AChEIs-associated fractures among older persons with AD. Findings of this study will support shared decision making among prescribers, patients, and caregivers.


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