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Long-term treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis with bisphosphonates reduces bone elasticity, a new study suggests.

Patients taking the drugs for more than three years experienced a reduction in elasticity of 22 per cent compared with untreated women.

The University of Texas study found patients with non-spinal fractures experienced the most substantial drops in elasticity.

But GP osteoporosis experts insisted the benefits of using bisphosphonates to improve bone mineral density outweighed any risks.

Dr Peter Stott, member of the National Osteoporosis Society and a GP in Tadworth, Surrey, said: 'An increase in bone mineral density is more important than a loss in elasticity.' But he said other therapies, such as parathyroid hormone, should be considered in young patients as they would be on treatment for longer.

The study was published online in Osteoporosis International (February 22).

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