Individuals Using Steroid Inhalers or Pills for Asthma are at Augmented Risk for Brittle Bones and Fractures, Study Suggests

Feb, 2021 - By WMR

Individuals Using Steroid Inhalers or Pills for Asthma are at Augmented Risk for Brittle Bones and Fractures, Study Suggests

A new study led by a group of researchers have revealed that individuals using steroid inhalers or tablets for the treatment of asthma or control flare-ups are at greater risk of developing brittle bones (osteoporosis) and are more vulnerable to fragility fractures. The research findings also suggests that higher cumulative dose and prolonged treatment further increases these risks at a greater extent.  Moreover, it is evident from relevant sources that asthma is commonly occurring disease and has affected around 334 million people globally. Steroid inhalers and tablets are commonly used medications to prevent and relieve symptoms of asthma.

In the study, researchers focused on the impact of steroids on bone health. Moreover, researchers considered data for the study from Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) GOLD database. Researchers utilized these data to identify all adults with asthma and who had osteoporosis or fragility fractures. Furthermore, researchers also checked patients who were prescribed to have at least one dose of bisphosphonates, a type of drug used to limit the loss of bone density. After evaluation, researchers observed a clear link between both number of courses and cumulative dose of steroid inhalers or tablets and the risk of.

In addition, researchers informed that 9 or more prescriptions and cumulative doses of 2,500 mg or more heightened the risk of fragility fractures or osteoporosis by four times the risk and two to three steroid tablet prescriptions for over 12 months were associated with higher risk of osteoporosis. They also reported that individuals with 11 or more prescriptions for inhaled steroids are at 60% higher risk for osteoporosis and 31% higher risk for fragility fractures.

Researchers stated, “Both oral and inhaled steroids are associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis and fragility fracture in people with asthma. The use of these drugs should be kept to the minimum necessary to treat symptoms and should be stepped down if symptoms and exacerbations are well managed.”

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