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Men + Inhalers = Increased Fracture Risk

July 30, 2011 @ 9:00 am
posted by Dr Ginther

Men using Inhalers for COPD should be evaluated for bone health!

We have long known that men using Prednisone are at high risk for Osteoporosis.  Now a study by researchers at Johns Hopkins has documented Increased Fracture Risk for men using Inhalers for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

The increased risk was nearly as much as the increased risk from current smoking or the use of Prednisone pills.  The increased risk appears to be dose and duration of use related.

Most of the men were over 60 and all had COPD.   The Inhalers studied were Advair and Symbicort.  A total of 23 studies with over 75,000 total participants were re-analyzed for Fracture Risk. 

Dr Sonal Singh, the lead researcher, pointed out that millions of men with COPD use Inhalers daily around the world.  We have not pushed for testing their bone health in the past, but we should.

Women were not in these studies, but their risk is probably even higher based on the fact that women generally already have higher Fracture Risk. 

The take home message:  Men using Inhalers for COPD should be evaluated for bone health!  Do Not stop using your Inhaler.  Do get tested!

Jay Ginther, MD

July 2011

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