There are now several studies linking the use of bisphosphonates such as alendronate (Fosamax) and Zoledronate (Zometa) to an increased risk of atrial fibrillation among postmenopausal women. A group of Chicago-based researchers have just completed a meta-analysis of these studies involving over 26,000 women. They conclude that the use of bisphosphonates is associated with a 52% increased risk of developing afib that requires hospitalization. They speculate that the increased risk may be due to bisphosphonate-induced release of inflammatory cytokines or shifts of calcium within atrial cells. NOTE: Other studies have shown that just taking one packet of bisphosphonate is enough to increase the risk of AF in postmenopausal women.
Circulation, Vol. 118, No. 18S, October 28, 2008, Abstract #2159