A new study out of Korea claims that patients
suffering from asthma have a higher chance of getting osteoporosis — a disease that
weakens bones and makes them brittle. Kim Min-ji reports on how the two illnesses
are linked. Sixty-five-year-old Kang Gwi-soon has been
suffering from asthma for 15 years. Eight years ago,… she was also diagnosed
with osteopenia,… a condition characterized by lower-than-normal bone density, but not
as severe as osteoporosis. It came as a shock to her, as she believed
her bones were strong. “People would call me ‘Jaime Sommers’ from
the movie ‘Bionic Woman,’ because my bones didn’t break, even in a car accident. When
I was told I had osteopenia,… I didn’t think it was serious at first.” A new study shows that some patients who suffer
from respiratory illnesses,… also experience a decline in bone density.
A research team at Seoul National University Hospital conducted a test on some 7-thousand
people over six years,… and found that patients suffering from asthma have a 1-point-3 times
higher chance of getting osteopenia,… and nearly double the chance of getting osteoporosis. Then, how are these two seemingly different
illnessess related? The research team points to vitamin D.
Vitamin D plays two roles in our body — first, to absorb calcium,… and second, to prevent
allergic reactions. Therefore, if a patient has either asthma
or osteoporosis,… researchers say they are more prone to getting the other. “If a patient lacks vitamin D,… the body
cannot properly absorb calcium,… raising the chances of getting osteoporosis. As the
vitamin also plays a role in our immune system,… a lack of it will also cause our system to
weaken.” Doctors advise patients with asthma to regularly
get bone denisty check-ups,… and get enough sunlight each day, as it produces vitamin
D. The findings have been published in the journal
Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology. Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.