Inhaled steroids may increase pneumonia risk in COPD

According to Reuters, people with smoking-related COPD who took inhaled steroids (ICS) were 34 percent more likely to develop pneumonia.

The study was a meta-analysis published in JAMA and included 11 previously published studies involving more than 14,000 COPD patients.

The authors concluded that ICS therapy does not affect 1-year all-cause mortality in COPD and ICS therapy was associated with a higher risk of pneumonia.

Update 09/01/2009: Budesonide treatment for 12 months does not increase the risk of pneumonia in patients with COPD

Inhaled steroids up pneumonia risk in lung ailment. Reuters, Nov 25, 2008.
Inhaled Corticosteroids in Patients With Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. M. Bradley Drummond, MD, MHS; Elliott C. Dasenbrook, MD, MHS; Marshall W. Pitz, MD, MHS; David J. Murphy, MD; Eddy Fan, MD. JAMA. 2008;300(20):2407-2416.
Image source: Enlarged view of lung tissue showing the difference between healthy lung and COPD, Wikipedia, public domain.

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