Hip Fracture Risk among Hemodialysis-Dependent Patients Prescribed Opioids and Gabapentinoids

J Am Soc Nephrol. 2020 Jun;31(6):1325-1334. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2019090904. Epub 2020 May 5.


Background: Despite opioids' known association with hip fracture risk in the general population, they are commonly prescribed to patients with ESKD. Whether use of opioids or gabapentinoids (also used to treat pain in patients with ESKD) contributes to hip fracture risk in patients with ESKD on hemodialysis remains unknown.

Methods: In a case-control study nested within the US Renal Data System, we identified all hip fracture events recorded among patients dependent on hemodialysis from January 2009 through September 2015. Eligible cases were risk-set matched on index date with ten eligible controls. We required >1 year of Medicare Parts A and B coverage and >3 years of part D coverage to study cumulative longer-term exposure. To examine new, short-term exposure, we selected individuals with >18 months of Part D coverage and no prior opioid or gabapentinoid use between 18 and 7 months before index. We used conditional logistic regression to estimate unadjusted and multivariable-adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI).

Results: For the longer-term analyses, we identified 4912 first-time hip fracture cases and 49,120 controls. Opioid use was associated with increased hip fracture risk (adjusted OR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.26 to 1.53). Subgroups of low, moderate, and high use yielded adjusted ORs of 1.33 (95% CI, 1.20 to 1.47), 1.53 (95% CI, 1.36 to 1.72), and 1.66 (95% CI, 1.45 to 1.90), respectively. The association with hip fractures was also elevated with new, short-term use (adjusted OR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.25 to 1.52). There were no associations between gabapentinoid use and hip fracture.

Conclusions: Among patients dependent on hemodialysis in the United States, both short-term and longer-term use of opioid analgesics were associated with hip fracture events.

Keywords: United States Renal Data System; clinical epidemiology; mineral metabolism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analgesics, Opioid / adverse effects*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Gabapentin / adverse effects*
  • Hip Fractures / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Dialysis*


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Gabapentin