Research Roundup

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Debbie Rigby rounds up the latest in research news

Atypical Femur Fracture Risk versus Fragility Fracture Prevention with Bisphosphonates

In this large cohort study, the risk of atypical femur fracture increased with longer duration of bisphosphonate use (mainly alendronate) and rapidly decreased after bisphosphonate discontinuation. Asians had a higher risk than Whites. The absolute risk of atypical femur fracture remained very low as compared with reductions in the risk of hip and other fractures with bisphosphonate treatment.

N Engl J Med 2020; 383:743-753.I

Medscape summary


Effect of Vitamin D3 Supplementation on Severe Asthma Exacerbations in Children with Asthma and Low Vitamin D Levels

Findings from VDKA Randomized Clinical Trial do not support the use of vitamin D3 supplementation to improve the time to a severe asthma exacerbation in children with asthma and low serum vitamin D levels. In this trial with 192 children aged 6 to 16 years participants were randomised to vitamin D 4000IU/day or placebo for 48 weeks and maintained with fluticasone propionate therapy.

JAMA. 2020;324(8):752-760.


Adverse effects of high‐dose vitamin D supplementation on volumetric bone density

Vitamin D supplementation with 4000 or 10,000 IU, compared with 400 IU daily, resulted in greater losses of BMD over three years in healthy vitamin D‐sufficient females, but not males. These findings do not support a benefit of high‐dose vitamin D supplementation for bone health, and raise the possibility of harm for females.

Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 2020


Natural history of asthma symptoms after epidemic thunderstorm asthma

Three year follow-up on the impact of the catastrophic 2016 Melbourne thunderstorm asthma event found evidence of ongoing loss of asthma control in those with previously well controlled asthma, and the persistence of symptoms suggestive of asthma in those with no history or symptoms suggestive of prior asthma. The authors concluded that low rates of inhaler adherence and asthma action plan ownership may contribute to increased morbidity and mortality from future epidemic thunderstorm asthma event events.

Asia Pac Allergy. 2020 Jul;10(3):e30.

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