A study published in the journal Thorax found that taking steroid inhalers or tablets for asthma treatment to control flare-ups is associated with a heightened risk of brittle bones (osteoporosis) and increased vulnerability to broken bones (fragility fractures).
Asthma is common and affects 334 million people globally.
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"Current guidelines on asthma do not fully cover the management of bone comorbidities and no specific bone protection guidance is given. Our results suggest that risk and prevention of osteoporosis and [fragility fractures] should be addressed explicitly in future guideline updates,” noted the researchers.
Risk is directly correlated with the higher the dose, and the longer the course of treatment.
"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."
Source: Science Daily