Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1995 Aug;96(2):157-66.

Bone mineral density and the risk of fracture in patients receiving long-term inhaled steroid therapy for asthma.

Author information

Department of Medicine, Victoria Hospital, London, Ontario, Canada.


To determine whether high-dose or prolonged inhaled steroid therapy for asthma increases a patient's risk of osteoporosis and fracture, we measured bone density in 26 men and 43 women (41 postmenopausal, all of whom had received supplemental estrogen therapy) after treatment with an inhaled steroid for 10.1 +/- 5.5 years and oral prednisone for 10.7 +/- 9.7 years (mean +/- SD). Most had stopped receiving prednisone since commencing the inhaled steroid therapy. We found that bone densities (adjusted for age and sex to yield a z score) were lower in association with higher daily doses of inhaled steroid (p = 0.013 ANCOVA) and with the duration of past prednisone therapy (p = 0.032). Larger cumulative inhaled steroid doses were associated with higher bone densities (p = 0.002) and a reduction in the numbers of patients at risk of fracture. Bone density also increased with the amount of supplemental estrogen therapy (p = 0.058) and, at equivalent levels of inhaled and oral steroid use, women showed higher bone density z scores than did men. Women with a lifetime dose of inhaled steroid greater than 3 gm had normal bone density regardless of the amount of past or current prednisone use or the current dose of inhaled steroid. These data indicate that the daily dose, but not the duration, of inhaled steroid therapy may adversely affect bone density, and that estrogen therapy may offset this bone-depleting effect in postmenopausal women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center