This article is part of MPR‘s coverage of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology annual meeting, taking place in San Francisco, California. Our staff will report on medical research related to asthma, allergy, and other respiratory conditions, conducted by experts in the field. Check back regularly for more news from AAAAI 2019.

SAN FRANCISCO — Asthma is linked to osteopenia, osteoporosis, osteomalacia, and pathological fractures in the United States, according to research presented at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Annual Meeting, held February 22-25, 2019, in San Francisco, California.

Previous studies have found conflicting results regarding the association between asthma, osteoporosis, and pathological fractures. Investigators analyzed a 20% cross-sectional sample of emergency care visits throughout the United States from the 2006-2012 National Emergency Department Sample. The analysis included 198,102,435 children and adults, 10,127,807 of whom had asthma.

Investigators found that patients with asthma exhibited significantly higher odds of osteopenia (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 1.454; 95% CI, 1.406-1.504), osteoporosis (adjusted OR, 1.849; 95% CI, 1.817-1.881), osteomalacia (adjusted OR, 1.997; 95% CI, 1.605-2.485), ankylosing spondylitis (adjusted OR, 1.487; 95% CI, 1.377-1.606), and pathological fractures (adjusted OR, 1.238; 95% CI, 1.204-1.273). Additionally, asthma was linked to greater odds of osteoporosis (P<.0001), osteopenia (P<.0001), and ankylosing spondylitis (P≤.02) from 2006 to 2012, and osteomalacia (P<.02) for 6 out of the 7 years. Significant sex-related and age-related differences were noted in these associations.

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The results of this study suggest that physicians should be aware of bone disease comorbidities in asthma.

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Shaheen M and Silverberg JI. Association of asthma with osteopenia, osteoporosis, osteomalacia and pathological fractures United States adults. Presented at: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma &Immunology Annual Meeting 2019; February 22-25, 2019; San Francisco, CA. Abstract 669.