Previous studies have shown inhaled corticosteroids can decrease a person's bone mineral density. However, researchers now say long-term use of ICS therapy is not associated with a significant change in BMD.
Corticosteroids are commonly used to treat asthmatics and people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder. Researchers say these medications are good at reducing inflammation and mucus production in the airways of the lungs. They also make other quick-relief medicines more effective.
Jordana Schmier and colleagues examined more than 260 studies and presented their findings at the Annual Scientific Assembly of the American College of CHEST Physicians in Orlando, Fla. They reviewed both published and unpublished literature and selected 14 studies that met their criteria. Researchers say the majority of the studies reviewed included patients who received moderate to high doses of corticosteroid therapy.
Results show long-term use of these medications by patients with asthma or COPD was not associated with significant changes in BMD. Schmier says using ICS therapy is important in controlling symptoms of various lung disorders. She concluded, "ICS treatment at standard doses in patients with asthma or COPD does not have a clinically meaningful effect on BMD."