Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Long-term use of popular inhalers increases risk of pneumonia for COPD patients

10.02.2009
Newly published research out of Wake Forest University School of Medicine finds that a popular class of anti-inflammatory inhalers significantly increases the risk of pneumonia in patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

The study appears in this month's issue of Archives of Internal Medicine and focuses on the incidence of pneumonia in patients with COPD who were exposed to inhaled corticosteroid drugs, either alone or in combination with other drugs.

COPD is a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe. It can cause coughing that produces large amounts of mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and other symptoms. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD, and most people who have COPD smoke or are former smokers. Long-term exposure to other lung irritants, such as air pollution, chemical fumes or dust, also may contribute to COPD.

COPD is currently the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for more than 120,000 deaths annually and costing more than $30 billion each year, according to the National Lung Health Education Program. It is estimated that more than 16 million Americans have COPD; however, that number is rising rapidly and the disease often goes undiagnosed, so some estimates put the actual number of Americans afflicted with the disease as high as 24 million.

Inhaled corticosteroids, used alone or in combination with other drugs for the treatment of asthma, are not approved for use alone in patients with COPD, but rather in combination with beta-antagonists, which dilate the lungs. The available inhaled steroid combinations are fluticasone/salmeterol, marketed byGlaxoSmithKline as AdvairTM, and budesonide/formoterol, marketed by AstraZeneca as SymbicortTM.

The inhalers are effective in relieving many of the symptoms of COPD, but have been associated with an increased risk of pneumonia in recent studies.

For the current study, researchers reviewed 18 randomized clinical trials, several of which were unpublished, involving nearly 17,000 patients in total. They compared the incidence of pneumonia in patients who had taken inhaled corticosteroids for at least 24 weeks versus patients who had taken a placebo, or patients who had taken combination inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta-antagonists versus patients who took only the long-acting bronchodilator.

Analysis of the results showed that inhaled corticosteroid use, alone or in combination with bronchodilators, for at least 24 weeks was associated with a significantly increased risk of pneumonia and serious pneumonia (60 to 70 percent increase); however, it was not associated with an increased risk of death. In absolute terms, the study showed that nearly one in every 47 patients with COPD using a corticosteroid inhaler for one year is likely to develop pneumonia linked to use of the drug.

"Our robust meta-analysis … clarifies that the risk of pneumonia reported as a serious adverse event, can be specifically attributed to the long-term use of the inhaled steroid component," the researchers wrote in their report.

Researchers advised that these results pertain specifically to COPD patients rather than asthma patients, and recommend that "clinicians should remain vigilant for the development of pneumonia with inhaled corticosteroids, as the signs and symptoms of pneumonia may closely mimic that of COPD exacerbations."

"Given the substantial emerging risk of pneumonia and its associated morbidity and mortality in patients with chronic obstructive lung disease, and the uncertain benefit of adding an inhaled corticosteroid to a long-acting bronchodilator, clinicians should re-evaluate the benefit-harm profile of long-term inhaled corticosteroid use among patients with COPD," said Sonal Singh, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor of internal medicine and lead investigator for the study.

Jessica Guenzel | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wfubmc.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution
09.12.2016 | Veterans Affairs Research Communications

nachricht Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks
08.12.2016 | Penn State

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>