Send to

Choose Destination
Osteoporos Int. 2020 Mar 2. doi: 10.1007/s00198-020-05361-9. [Epub ahead of print]

Effects of long-term inhaled corticosteroid treatment on fragility fractures in older women: the Manitoba BMD registry study.

Author information

Respiratory Evaluation Sciences Program, Collaboration for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of British Columbia, 4th Floor, 2405 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3, Canada.
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Manitoba, C5121, 409 Tache Avenue, St. Boniface General Hospital, Winnipeg, MB, R2H 2A6, Canada.
Division of Respiratory Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, 2775 Laurel Street, Vancouver, BC, V5Z 1M9, Canada.


The effects of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) on fracture risk in older women with chronic respiratory diseases are not well established. Our results indicate long-term ICS use in this population does not increase the risk of major osteoporotic fracture. This finding further elucidates the long-term safety of ICS in older women.


Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are frequently used in older women with chronic respiratory diseases. There is insufficient evidence regarding the association between long-term ICS use and the risk of fragility fractures in this population.


We used linked Manitoba health administrative databases and the provincial bone mineral density (BMD) registry (1996-2013) to identify women ≥ 40 years of age with asthma and/or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) within 3 years preceding the baseline BMD test. We followed them until the first major osteoporotic fracture or end of study, whichever came first. ICS use, stratified by exposure tertiles, was measured within the 12-month period following the baseline BMD test (by total days and quantity, primary outcome), and over the entire follow-up period (by medication possession ratio (MPR) and average annual dose, secondary outcome). The hazard ratio of fracture with ICS use was estimated using a Cox proportional hazards model, controlling for baseline determinants of fracture.


Of 6880 older women with asthma (38%) or COPD (62%), 810 (12%) experienced a major osteoporotic fracture over a mean follow-up of 7.7 years (SD = 3.9). ICS use at any tertile was not associated with an increased risk of fracture (dispensed days, p = 0.90; dispensed quantity, p = 0.67). Similarly, ICS use at any tertile during the entire follow-up period was not associated with an increased risk of fracture (MPR, p = 0.62; average annual dose, p = 0.58).


Our findings do not support an increased risk of major osteoporotic fracture in older women with chronic respiratory diseases due to long-term ICS use.


Asthma; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Fracture; Inhaled corticosteroids; Osteoporosis; Women


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center