Asthma Associated with Decrease in Bone Mineral Density, Says South Korean Researchers

AsthmaAccording to a study conducted by a group of researchers in Seoul, South Korea, there appears to be an association between asthma and BMD (Bone Mineral Density) decrease. This study was published in the May issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the official journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). In the opinion of the lead study author, prolonged use of corticosteroids for asthma treatment is a risk factor of osteoporosis (a condition which makes the bones weak, fragile and more likely to break) though the researchers lack definite data that shows the relationship between asthma and bone loss. The study also revealed a meaningful association between these conditions even in the absence of earlier use of oral corticosteroid.

The researchers studied 7,034 patients, out of which 433 patients had airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) or asthma. The density of lumbar spine and femur bone was considerably lower in those 433 patients compared to those who did not have these conditions. The associate editor of ACAAI journal opined it is quite difficult to locate the real cause of bone loss in this group of patients and it can be corticosteroid use, low levels of vitamin D or even race. The facts revealed in the research need to be studied further.

CDC statistics shows that 18.7 million non-institutionalized adults in the U.S. currently have asthma while 6.8 million children suffer from this disease. The data also reveals asthma mortality rate is 1.1 deaths per 100,000 population. As per the ACAAI, though high oral corticosteroids can be associated with adverse effects, it is the most effective medication for asthma treatment. It recommends using the lowest effective dose of oral corticosteroid when required, and inhaling it rather than taking orally whenever it is possible. Healthcare experts say it is very important for asthma patients to continue their prescribed treatment as this disease can be life-threatening. But, at the same time, doctors need to discuss about the disease prospects and consequences of therapy in asthma patients.

It is very important to document the details of asthma patients such as their health conditions, their treatment, how the treatment affects them and improvements in health conditions in each visit accurately. Based on that, doctors can understand whether a particular drug is effective and provide quality care. If the doctors cannot find time for systematic clinical documentation amidst their busy schedule, they can seek the support of a professional medical transcription company that offers the service of experienced and trained medical transcriptionists.