Hong Kong: A commonly used drug for treating osteoporosis or bone pain may also help reduce the risk of death by cardiovascular, heart attack and stroke, according to a study.

The report, published in Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, showed that the drug Alendronate could lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases by 67 per cent and heart attacks by 45 per cent within a year.

Intake of the drug also reduced the risk of stroke by 18 per cent within five years and 17 per cent within 10 years.

"Our findings show that Alendronate is potentially cardioprotective in hip fracture patients," said Ching-Lung Cheung, from the University of Hong Kong.

"Physicians should consider prescribing Alendronate or other similar drugs to patients with hip fracture and patients should also have good compliance with Alendronate treatment, as this is not only good for your bones but also your heart," Cheung added.

Alendronate belongs to a class of drugs called bisphosphonates and works by preventing bone breakdown and increasing bone density.

It is used for osteoporosis, osteogenesis imperfecta, and several other bone diseases.

The researchers collected data from 34,991 patients, diagnosed with hip fracture in 2005. Out of these 4,602 patients received osteoporosis treatment during follow up.

Due to excess cardiovascular adverse events, there is a worldwide crisis in the current treatment of osteoporosis with drug romosozumab.

In 2017, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had rejected romosozumab and requested more data before reaching a decision.

The study, thus, has significant implications in clinical trial design of anti-osteoporosis medications, the researchers said.