Inhaled corticosteroids and hip fracture: a population-based case-control study

15 Dec 2002
Respiratory conditions
  • COPD
  • Multi-morbidity
Respiratory topics
  • Disease management
Type of resource
Peer-reviewed article
Hubbard RB, Smith CJ, Smeeth L, Harrison TW, Tattersfield AE


There is accumulating evidence that the use of inhaled corticosteroids is associated with a dose-related reduction in bone mineral density. Whether this translates to an increase in fracture is unclear. We have used the General Practice Research Database to perform a case-control analysis, including 16,341 cases of hip fracture (mean age of 79 years, 79% female, median period prescribing data 2.7 years) and 29,889 control subjects, individually matched by age, sex, and general practice. Data for all prescriptions for corticosteroids and for potential confounders, including other drug use and comorbid illnesses, were extracted, and the impact of inhaled corticosteroid exposure was analyzed using conditional logistic regression. The risk of hip fracture was associated with exposure to inhaled corticosteroids with an odds ratio of 1.26 (95% confidence interval, 1.17 to 1.36). This odds ratio was reduced after adjusting the model for annual courses of oral corticosteroids, the only confounder of note (OR 1.19; 95% CI, 1.10 to 1.28). There was a dose-response relationship between inhaled corticosteroid use and hip fracture even after adjusting for the annual number of courses of oral corticosteroids (p trend = 0.007). In older subjects, the recent use of inhaled corticosteroids is associated with a dose-related increase in hip fracture.