Inhaled steroids don’t affect BMD

Using heel ultrasonography, researchers found that corticosteroid use was not associated with a significant reduction of BMD among the 55- to 85-year-old participants.

“Our study is sufficiently powered to pick up a change of 0.04g/cm2 in bone mineral density and we are quite confident that our results are not by chance,” said lead researcher, Dr Ghulam Sarwar, an advanced trainee of General and Respiratory Medicine at John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle.

Using data from the Hunter Community Study, the researchers found that age, gender, BMI and smoking were better predictors of BMD than ICS after controlling for asthma, alcohol use, physical activity and diet. Dr Sarwar said that systemic steroid use, even in short bursts, was also a stronger predictor of reduced BMD and subsequent osteoporosis than ICS.

“[A] minimal but effective dose of inhaled steroid should be used to control the airways