• Asthma Linked to Bone Loss in Study

    Reason for connection isn't clear, experts say
    WEDNESDAY, May 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- People with asthma could be at higher risk of bone loss, new research suggests.
    But it's not clear how the two conditions might be related.
    "We know prolonged use of corticosteroids in the treatment of asthma is a risk factor of osteoporosis, but we haven't had definite data showing the relationship between asthma itself and bone loss," study author Dr. Jae-Woo Jung said in a news release from the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI).
    "This study has shown a meaningful association between the two conditions, even in the absence of previous oral corticosteroid use," noted Jung.
    The researchers studied more than 7,000 people, including 433 with asthma. They found that bone density in the lumbar spine and femur was significantly lower in those with asthma.
    "It is difficult to pinpoint the cause of bone loss in this subset of patients," said allergist Dr. John Oppenheimer in a statement provided by the ACAAI.
    "Reasons can include corticosteroid use, low levels of vitamin D or even race. This research has unveiled findings that need be further studied," he said.
    Although steroid treatments for asthma may be a possible link to bone loss, no one should stop taking these drugs without talking to their doctor.
    "Asthma is a serious disease that can be life-threatening," Oppenheimer said. "It is important that those with asthma and other breathing problems continue their prescribed treatment. It is also imperative that allergists discuss the potential of the disease itself or as a consequence of therapy in asthma sufferers."
    Side effects from corticosteroid treatment are generally more evident with oral forms of the drugs instead of inhaled, though oral steroids are more effective. Doctors prescribe inhaled corticosteroids whenever possible. If oral corticosteroids are necessary, doctors will prescribe the lowest effective dose to help avoid side effects, according to the ACAAI news release.
    The study appears in the May issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
    More information
    For more about asthma, go to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/asthma/ ).
    SOURCE: American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, new release, May 1, 2014
  • Join WellZones today.

    Make a Change For LifeLearn more

    Wellmont LiveWell is creating a new tradition of wellness in the mountains by providing individuals with tools and encouragement to live healthier lifestyles.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    HeartSHAPE® Test Learn more

    Fight heart disease early and prevent heart attacks with HeartSHAPE® - a painless, non-invasive test that takes pictures of your heart to scan for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.


  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.