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Eczema and asthma could elevate the likelihood of osteoporosis


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A new study suggests that people with atopic (allergic) conditions such as asthma or eczema may be at an increased risk of developing osteoporosis.

An article published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases suggests that medications used to reduce the physiological triggers of allergic reactions in the body may help reduce the risk of this painful, often disabling joint condition.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. But, despite the high prevalence of the disease, prohibitive costs and devastating consequences, effective treatment still does not exist. Treatment is primarily aimed at relieving symptoms.

A growing body of evidence suggests that the activation of a type of white blood cell called a mast cell and inflammatory chemicals (cytokines) involved in allergic reactions may play a key role in the development of arthritis. But it was unclear whether people with allergic asthma or eczema were at risk of developing the disease.

To figure this out, the researchers relied on claims filed with the US nationwide insurance database (Optum CDM) between January 2003 and June 2019 and electronic medical records from the Stanford Research Repository (STARR) between 2010 and 2020.

A total of 117,346 people with allergic asthma or eczema (mean age 52 years, 60% women) and 1,247,196 people without atopic disease (mean age 50 years, 48% women) were identified in the insurance claims database.

Approximately 109,899 people with atopic disease were matched with 109,899 people without allergic asthma or eczema by age, gender, race, education level, comorbidities, length of follow-up, and outpatient visits.

The risk of developing osteoarthritis (or osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis that affects millions of people worldwide) over a mean follow-up of 8 years was 58% higher in individuals with asthma or allergic eczema than in those without atopic disease.

In other words, there would be 27 new cases versus 19 new cases if 100 people with and without atopy were followed up for 10 years each.

Of the 11,820 people with only allergic asthma, they were 83% more likely to develop osteoporosis over an 8-year period than those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a lung disease that is not associated with allergic pathways.

The researchers then compared the risk of developing osteoarthritis in people with allergic asthma/eczema and people without allergies on the STARR medical charts to see if they could get similar results.

STARR participants included 114,427 patients, including 43,728 with allergic asthma or eczema and 70,699 without a history of atopic disease.

This dataset also included information on weight (body mass index), which is a significant risk factor for osteoporosis.

After adjusting for BMI, the likelihood of developing osteoporosis was 42% higher among people with allergic asthma or eczema, and 19% higher among people with both.

The researchers acknowledge various limitations of their findings, including reliance on insurance payout data for a portion of the study that did not include information on potential confounding factors such as body mass index, previous joint injury, or physical activity levels.

However, the authors concluded: “People with atopic disease have an increased risk of developing osteoporosis compared with the general population.” The pathogenesis of the disease is widespread not only in patients with atopic disease.

The team added: “Our results provide further support for the concept that allergic pathways may contribute to the development of osteoporosis. If this is true, non-atopic patients may also benefit from the use of treatments that inhibit mast cells and allergic cytokines. treat or prevent osteoporosis.

Source: Medical Express

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