Fluoride Action Network


It has been suggested recently that, although fluoride therapy may decrease the occurrence of vertebral fractures, it could increase the risk of hip fractures. To evaluate this possibility, we combined retrospective data from five medical centers that have had a large experience with this therapeutic regimen. In 416 osteoporotic patients who were followed for more than 1,000 patient-years of fluoride treatment, there were 17 nontraumatic hip fractures. This incidence of 1.6% per year is similar to the incidence, 1.9% per year, for 120 of the patients in this series who had been followed prospectively for 3 years prior to initiation of fluoride therapy. The expected incidence for women of the same age in the general community is 0.5% per year. Thus, untreated osteoporotic women are at increased risk for hip fracture, but treatment with fluoride seems neither to decrease nor to increase the incidence of hip fracture substantially.