If you have COPD and use an inhaled corticosteroid, either alone or in combination with other drugs, you have a 27% increased risk of bone fracture, according to a recent study by Johns Hopkins University.
The study looked mostly at men, aged 60 years and older, which raises a question about how corticosteroids affect women who are already at risk for bone fracture due to osteoporosis.
Sonal Singh, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of general internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the senior author of the study had this to say:
"There are millions of COPD patients who use long-term inhaled corticosteroids in the United States and millions more across the world," says published online in the journal Thorax. "The number of people who are getting fractures because of these medications is quite large."
The study reviewed multiple, previously published studies, one consisting of more than 17,500 participants, and seven more totally 69,000 participants. The primary drugs studied were fluticasone, used in Advair, and budesonide, used in Symbicort. The effect was found to be dose-related, as participants on higher doses appeared to have a greater risk of fracture than those on lower doses.
Dr. Signh says he is most concerned about women and has asked the FDA to look into recent issues found in this study. The implications for the FDA looking into this matter remain to be seen.
How can you improve your bone health? The following tips will help:
- quit smoking
- moderate alcohol
- get enough calcium and Vitamin D
- perform weight-bearing exercise, like walking, everyday
- get your bone density tested
If you take corticosteroids for COPD, have you suffered from a bone fracture? Share your comments.
Yoon K Loke, Rodrigo Cavallazzi,Sonal Singh. Risk of fractures with inhaled corticosteroids in COPD: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials and observational studies.