Women With Lung Disorders at Higher Osteoporosis Risk

Medically Reviewed

Postmenopausal women with a chronic lung disorder, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or asthma, may be at increased risk for osteoporosis of the hip.

Danish investigators evaluated data from 4,599 postmenopausal women who had been referred to an osteoporosis clinic from 2000 to 2012.

Information on potential osteoporosis risk factors was obtained by questionnaire and clinical exam. Additional information on medication use, co-existing illnesses, and fractures was obtained from national registries.

The risk for osteoporosis of the hip, as assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), was 1.5 times higher in women with chronic lung disorders than in their counterparts who did not have those conditions. The findings were published October 2016 in Endocrine.

If you are postmenopausal and have a chronic lung disorder, ask your doctor about getting a bone density test, especially if you’ve never had one or have other risk factors for osteoporosis.

The National Osteoporosis Foundation also recommends testing for women of menopausal age who have other osteoporosis risk factors and for people who break a bone after age 50. Also, be sure you’re following a healthy diet with an adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D.

Other bone-healthy tips include avoiding excessive alcohol consumption and smoking. Exercise is helpful as well, but if you have a chronic lung disorder, ask your doctor about any precautions or restrictions.