The Maine Medical Center Research Institute is partnering with four other medical centers to study whether a medication that’s used to lower blood pressure can help prevent osteoporosis in post-menopausal women.

The study is being funded by a four-year, $2.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, according to a news release from the research institute. The study will examine whether Atenolol, a medication that slows the heart rate and reduces blood pressure, also preserves bone. Menopause is a known risk factor for osteoporosis, a condition that weakens the bones and puts women at risk of fractures.

“Current methods of preserving bone in post-menopausal women, such as estrogen, can be effective in the short term for women in their 40s and 50s, but have the potential to cause serious side effects after age 60,” said Dr. Irwin Brodsky, Maine Medical Center Research Institute’s principal investigator on this study with Dr. Clifford Rosen. “Our hope is that Atenolol will improve the long-term bone health of older women with fewer side effects.”

The study is being coordinated by the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and also includes Columbia University Medical Center in New York and the University of California at San Francisco.

Researchers will follow healthy post-menopausal women 50 – 75 for two years. Participants will take the medication or a placebo, keep a diary of their health and symptoms, have their blood tested and undergo bone density tests.

Those interested in participating in the study can call 207-396-6850 or [email protected].

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: