Asthma Is Associated With Increased Risk for Osteoporosis

asthma inhaler
Researchers analyzed the association of asthma and its subgroups with osteoporosis in the Korean adult population, and determined the effects of asthma on osteoporosis based on condition of asthma management.

Asthma is linked to an increased risk for osteoporosis, and the risk is highest among patients with untreated and uncontrolled asthma, according to study results published in Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology.

The association between asthma and osteoporosis has been reported in previous studies. The objective of the current study was to determine the association between asthma and its subgroups with osteoporosis in the Korean adult population. Researchers also evaluated the effects of asthma on osteoporosis based on the condition of asthma management, including untreated well-controlled asthma, ongoing treatment for asthma, or untreated uncontrolled asthma.

Using data from the Korean Genome and Epidemiology study between 2004 and 2016, 162,579 patients were identified for the study. The final cohort included 2999 patients (mean age, 55.9 years; 69.9% women) receiving treatment for asthma and 152,057 control participants (mean age, 53.2 years; 65.6% women) with no history of asthma.

Results indicated that osteoporosis was more common in patients with asthma vs control participants (13.6% vs 6.8%, respectively; P <.001). In the full-adjusted model, a diagnosis of asthma was associated with a 1.74-fold increased risk for osteoporosis (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.74; 95% CI, 1.55-1.94; P <.0001).

Asthma management also had a significant effect on the risk for osteoporosis. The risk was lowest for the well-controlled group (aOR, 1.43, 95% CI, 1.10-1.86; P =.008), followed by the treated-asthma group (aOR, 1.55; 95% CI, 1.28-1.89; P <.0001); the risk was highest for the untreated-uncontrolled group (aOR, 1.96; 95% CI, 1.66-2.31; P <.001).  

The study had several limitations, including the use of self-reported questionnaires to determine disease history and asthma management condition, missing data on asthma onset and duration, additional comorbidities, and other important confounders.

“Clinicians should be aware of osteoporosis in patients with asthma, especially in those who are untreated and neglected,” the researchers concluded.


Wee JH, Min C, Park MW, Byun SH, Lee HJ, Park B, Choi HG. The association of asthma and its subgroups with osteoporosis: a cross-sectional study using KoGES HEXA data. Published online September 25, 2020. Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol. doi:10.1186/s13223-020-00482-6