Is There a Correlation Between Asthma and Osteoporosis?

Asthma is associated with osteoporosis, according to the findings of a study published in Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology.

The Korean study used health examinee data from the Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study from 2004 to 2016. The study included 162,579 participants who reported their previous histories of asthma and osteoporosis; 3,160 participants had asthma, while 159,419 healthy controls had no history of asthma.

Participants were categorized into three groups based on asthma management: (1) participants who did not need further treatment due to controlled symptoms (well controlled), (2) participants with ongoing treatment (being treated), and (3) participants who were not treated even though they had symptoms (not being treated).

Patients with asthma were more likely to be older, female, non-smokers, and non-alcohol drinkers, as well as have higher body mass index and lower income (P<0.001 for all). Patients self-reported outcomes via a questionnaire on disease history and asthma management.

The prevalence of osteoporosis was significantly higher in patients with asthma (13.6%) than in the control cohort (6.8%). In the full-adjusted model, the adjusted odds ratio (OR) for osteoporosis was 1.74 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.55-1.94; P<0.001) in patients with asthma compared with controls. Findings were consistent across different age and sex subgroups.

Patients who were not receiving treatment for asthma had the highest OR for osteoporosis: Adjusted ORs for osteoporosis were 1.43 (95% CI, 1.10-1.86; P=0.008) in the well-controlled group, 1.55 (95% CI, 1.28-1.89; P<0.001) in the being treated group, and 1.96 (95% CI, 1.66-2.31; P<0.001) in the not being treated group compared with the control group.

“Clinicians should be aware of osteoporosis in patients with asthma, especially in those who are untreated and neglected,” the authors concluded.