For this latest study, the researchers examined the association between chronic lung disease and the drugs used to treat it and the risk of fracture in 124,655 patients who had a fracture.
For each patient, three age and gender matched controls were randomly selected from the general population. The researchers found that chronic lung diseases such as COPD and emphysema increased the risk of fracture.
Oral corticosteroids were associated with a dose-dependent increased risk of fractures, while inhaled short-acting beta-2 agonists were also associated with an increase in fracture risk but not a dose dependent one.
Inhaled corticosteroids and other bronchodilators, such as inhaled long-acting beta-2 agonists were not associated with fracture risk.
The researchers concluded that ‘the increase in fracture risk with inhaled short-acting beta-agonists may be linked to the severity of the underlying lung disease rather then with the beta-agonists.'
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