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Category: General Health
Long-term use of prednisone and other steroid medications may lead to the bone-weakening disease known as osteoporosis, as reported by Reuters Health. Individuals who take these drugs and are concerned about their skeletal health may consider taking a lab test for markers of the condition.
Risk factors for osteoporosis include changes in sex hormones, a family history of the disease, smoking and the use of certain medications, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, a division of the National Institutes of Health.
Because the class of medications known as oral steroids is associated with bone loss, a team of researchers from the Cleveland Clinic Foundation reviewed nationwide surveys in order to investigate the possible connections between steroids and osteoporosis.
The scientists estimated that 2.5 million American adults take these drugs, about a quarter of whom stay on their regimen for at least five years. This may be cause for concern because the negative effects of the medications on the bones grow stronger over time.
People who take oral steroids and are worried about the health of their bones can undergo a lab test in order to measure the levels of osteoporosis disease markers in their urine.
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