(HealthDay News) – There is an increased risk for hip fracture among nursing home residents using a nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic drug, according to a study published online March 4 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Sarah D. Berry, MD, from Harvard University in Boston, and colleagues conducted a case-crossover study in which exposure to nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic drugs during the 0–29 days before the hip fracture (hazard period) were compared with the exposure during the 60–89 and 120–149 days before the hip fracture (control periods) in 15,528 long-stay U.S. nursing home residents 50 years or older with a hip fracture documented in Medicare claims (July 1, 2007, to Dec. 31, 2008).

The researchers found that 1,715 participants (11%) were dispensed a nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic drug before the hip fracture, with 927 exposure-discordant pairs included in the analyses. The participants had a mean age of 81 years, and 77.6% were female. Users of a nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic drug had an elevated risk for hip fracture. This association was somewhat greater in new users of the drug and in residents with mild vs. moderate-to-severe cognitive impairment, with moderate vs. total or severe functional impairment, with limited vs. full assistance required with transfers, or in a facility with fewer Medicaid beds.

“New users and residents having mild to moderate cognitive impairment or requiring limited assistance with transfers may be most vulnerable to the use of these drugs,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to OptumInsight Epidemiology.

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