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Administration of beta-2 agonists decreased bone mineral density in rats. But the association between bronchodilators and fracture risk has not been studied in humans.To examine the association between use of beta-2 agonists and risk of hip/femur fracture.We conducted a population-based case-control study (6763 cases) in the Dutch PHARMO database. Current beta-2 agonist use was compared to never use. We adjusted for severity of the underlying respiratory disease and disease and drug history.A hospitalisation for asthma/COPD in the year before index date increased risk of hip/femur fracture: crude OR 2.17 (95% CI, 1.41-3.34). Patients using higher doses of beta-2 agonists had increased risk of hip/femur fracture: crude OR 1.94 (95% CI, 1.41-2.66) for daily dosages of >or=1600 microg albuterol equivalent. The excess fracture risk reduced after adjustment for disease severity (1.46; 95% CI, 1.02-2.08) and after exclusion of oral glucocorticoid users (1.31; 95% CI, 0.80-2.15). Risk of hip/femur fracture was similar between users of beta-2 agonists, inhaled glucocorticoids and anticholinergics.We found increases in the risk of hip/femur fracture in patients using higher doses of beta-2 agonists. However, the excess risk of hip/femur fracture substantially reduced after exclusion of oral glucocorticoid users and after adjustment for the underlying disease. Risk of hip/femur fracture was similar between users of beta-2 agonists, inhaled glucocorticoids and anticholinergics. The severity of the underlying disease, rather than the use of beta-2 agonists, may play an important role in the aetiology of hip/femur fractures in patients using beta-2 agonists.

Original publication

DOI

10.1002/pds.1318

Type

Journal article

Journal

Pharmacoepidemiology and drug safety

Publication Date

06/2007

Volume

16

Pages

612 - 619

Addresses

Department of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacotherapy, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Utrecht University, The Netherlands.

Keywords

Humans, Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive, Femoral Fractures, Hip Fractures, Adrenergic beta-Agonists, Adrenergic beta-Antagonists, Risk Factors, Case-Control Studies, Bone Remodeling, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Aged, Female, Male, Adrenergic beta-2 Receptor Agonists