A new study has reiterated an earlier medical report that widely prescribed drugs Actos and Avandia can boost the risk of broken bones in women in the post-menopausal stage and suffering from type-2 diabetes.

This is not the first time that research has associated a higher risk of fractures among women who have been prescribed a class of medication known as thiazolidinediones or TZDs. The latest findings have raised a fresh debate on whether TZDs are the best prescription drug for diabetes patients.

Steve Hammes, head of the endocrinology department at the University of Rochester Medical Center, was quoted in Drug Information Online as saying that as a first-line agent TZDs were probably not a good idea for treating diabetes.

Physicians expect that the latest research may turn the doctors away from both the drugs. Earlier this year, an advisory committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration suggested that Avandia also contributed to a higher risk of heart attack and should be sold only under tightened controls.

The research team led by William H. Herman, professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of Michigan, analyzed data from earlier studies of diabetes patients, some of whom were taking TZDs. It was observed that women aged over 50 who had fractures were 71 percent more likely to have taken this class of medication.

The study also observed that men faced thrice the risk of weak bones while taking TZDs and loop diuretics while in both genders the risk went up in tandem with the period of medication.

The study, which has been published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, used data from earlier research known as TRIAD where it identified 786 cases of fractures and compared it to 2,657 patients who had diabetes but no history of broken bones.

The researchers studied the prescriptions that the sample group had filed over the 90-day period prior to the time when they had a fracture or 90 days prior to a designated study date for those who didn’t break their bones.

The study, funded by the CDC and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the U.S. found that most post-menopausal women who had a fracture were prescribed these two drugs. And the longer they took the medicine, the higher the risk fracture.