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For the current study, researchers reviewed 18 randomized clinical trials, several of which were unpublished, involving nearly 17,000 patients in total.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 Unique brain 'fingerprint' can predict drug effectiveness
11.07.2018 | McGill University

nachricht Direct conversion of non-neuronal cells into nerve cells
03.07.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

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: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

World’s Largest Study on Allergic Rhinitis Reveals new Risk Genes

17.07.2018 | Life Sciences

Electronic stickers to streamline large-scale 'internet of things'

17.07.2018 | Information Technology

Behavior-influencing policies are critical for mass market success of low carbon vehicles

17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>