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Etidronate, calcium, or both did not reduce fracture rates in patients with asthma receiving glucocorticoid treatment

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 Q In patients with asthma receiving long term glucocorticoid treatment, does etidronate, calcium, or both reduce fracture rates?

Clinical impact ratings GP/FP/Primary care ★★★★★★☆ IM/Ambulatory care ★★★★★☆☆ Rheumatology ★★★★★★☆ Respirology ★★★★★☆☆


Embedded ImageDesign:

randomised controlled trial.

Embedded ImageAllocation:


Embedded ImageBlinding:

blinded {data analysts}.*

Embedded ImageFollow-up period:

5 years.

Embedded ImageSetting:

40 chest clinics in the UK.

Embedded ImagePatients:

352 men and women 50–70 years of age (mean age 60 y, 58% men) who were outpatients; randomisation was violated in 349 patients. Patients had asthma and had been taking regular oral or inhaled glucocorticoids, or both, for ⩾1 year. Only postmenopausal women were included. Women with a hysterectomy were excluded.

Embedded ImageInterventions:

patients were stratified by level of glucocorticoid exposure and allocated to oral etidronate, 400 mg/day for 2 weeks every 3 months (n = 81); calcium carbonate, given as 500 mg/day of elemental …

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  • * See glossary.

  • Information provided by author.

  • For correspondence: Dr I A Campbell, Llandough Hospital, Penarth, UK.

  • Sources of funding: Allen and Hanburys, and Glaxo.

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