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Kenneth Ward Lyles

Professor of Medicine
Medicine, Geriatrics
Duke Box 3881, Durham, NC 27710
Orange Zone , Ground Ffloor, Room 0360, Durham, NC 27710


My research activities focus on understanding ways that osteoporotic fractures affect people and trying to learn ways to reduce their impact on affected individuals and prevent further fractures. I have worked with patient with hip and vertebral fractures, gaining insight into the impairments such fractures cause. Also we have learned that a hip fracture is a major risk factor for subsequent fractures after the initial hip fracture. Our group completed a randomized, placebo-controlled trial that we designed with Novartis Pharmaceutical Corporation showing, that an annual infusion of a 5mg of the bisphosphonate zoledronic acid reduced subsequent fractures after a surgical procedure for a hip fracture by 35% when compared to a place infusion (New England Journal of Medicine, 11-1-07). In this study we also observed a 28% reduction in death in the zoledronic acid treated patients. Other research groups have shown that oral bisphosphonates also reduce mortality in patients with osteoporosis. Currently, we, with a number of collaborators, are conducting both animal and human studies to better understand this beneficial effect upon mortality.

In other work, our group tries to understand how other diseases such as strokes and spinal cord injury, and medications such as anticonvulsants place patients at risk for fractures. As we understand the epidemiology of these types of fractures, we plan to develop intervention trials to test whether we can reduce the occurrence of these fractures.

In addition to the above described work our group has help design and conduct a number of phase 1,2 and 3 clinical trials in Paget's disease of Bone and osteoporosis.

Hip and vertebra fractures
Paget's disease of bone
Mobility impairments from metabolic bone diseases

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Professor of Medicine · 1999 - Present Medicine, Geriatrics, Medicine
Senior Fellow in the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development · 1983 - Present Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development, Institutes and Centers

Education, Training & Certifications

Virginia Commonwealth University · 1974 M.D.