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Dose–response relationship for risk of non-vertebral fracture with inhaled corticosteroids


Prof. Richard Beasley, Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, PO Box 10055, Wellington 6143, New Zealand. E-mail:


Objective To determine the strength of association between the dose of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) and risk of non-vertebral fracture in adults.

Methods A systematic review and meta-analysis of case–control studies of non-vertebral fractures in adults, in which at least two doses of ICS were reported as the dose of beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP) or equivalent.

Results Five case–control studies were identified, with a total of 43 783 cases and 259 936 controls. There was an association between the risk of non-vertebral fracture and increasing dose of BDP. The random-effects odds ratio of relative risk for a non-vertebral fracture was 1.12 (95% confidence interval 1.00–1.26) per 1000 μg increase in the daily dose of BDP or equivalent.

Conclusion In older adults, the relative risk of non-vertebral fractures increases by about 12% for each 1000 μg/day increase in the dose of BDP or equivalent. The magnitude of this risk was considerably less than other common risk factors for fracture in the older adult.

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