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Use of anti-inflammatory inhalers can give pneumonia to COPD patients - Printable Version

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Use of anti-inflammatory inhalers can give pneumonia to COPD patients - Mr.Bhat - 05-05-2009

Recent study showed that patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD increase their risk of pneumonia by taking help of anti-inflammatory inhalers.

Sonal Singh, MD, MPH, from Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and colleagues did detailed screening of 97 articles that focused on 18 randomized controlled trials involving16,996 patients, followed up for 24 to 156 weeks.

Researchers said: "Among patients with COPD, inhaled corticosteroid use for at least 24 weeks is associated with a significantly increased risk of serious pneumonia, without a significantly increased risk of death. The magnitude of this risk of serious pneumonia associated with inhaled corticosteroid use in patients with COPD is substantial (RRs, approximately 70% increased risk) and may pose a substantial public health burden."

Researchers added that medical experts should remain vigilant for the development of pneumonia with inhaled corticosteroid use because the signs and symptoms of pneumonia may closely mimic those of COPD exacerbations. They should reevaluate the benefit-harm profile of long-term inhaled corticosteroid use among patients with COPD.