Navigation Links
Certain COPD Meds Might Raise Heart Risks, Study Says
Date:5/21/2013

By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- Long-acting inhaled medications used by millions of people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may raise the risk of cardiovascular complications among older patients, a new large Canadian study reveals.

The finding centers around patients over age 65 who are prescribed long-acting bronchodilators -- either anticholinergics (such as Spiriva) or beta-agonists (such as Serevent). Both medications are commonly used to relieve the shortness of breath that characterizes moderate to severe COPD and to improve lung function.

The team found that compared with patients who do not use either medication, those using either of these bronchodilators face a notably higher risk for experiencing a cardiac event, such as heart attack or heart failure.

"The bad news is that, although everybody's different, there's a chance that by using these long-acting bronchodilators you may have a mild to moderate risk for cardiovascular problems," said study lead author Dr. Andrea Gershon, a scientist and respirologist in the department of medicine at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center in Toronto. "The good news is that each of the medications we looked at can also help you if you have COPD."

Gershon said she wouldn't recommend a medication if she didn't think that the benefits outweighed the risks. "And I do. But at the same time I feel the choice has to be made on an individual basis," she said. "And there's an obligation to inform our patients that the risk is there, based on the best evidence we have available, which is this study."

The study appears in the May 20 online edition of JAMA Internal Medicine.

More than one-quarter of Americans over the age of 35 have COPD, which is the nation's number one cause of hospitalization due to chronic illness and the third most common cause of death. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are commonly associated with COPD.

At issue is not the effectiveness of long-acting bronchodilators. Though they do not slow down disease progression, such medications have long been viewed as solid first-line interventions that help improve a patient's overall quality of life. There is no cure for COPD.

Out of concern over drug-related cardiovascular implications, the study team pored through health care database records for more than 191,000 Ontario residents aged 66 and up, all of them COPD patients newly prescribed long-acting bronchodilator medication at some point between 2003 and 2009.

The investigators found that during the study time frame, 28 percent of the patients experienced a cardiovascular "event" that resulted in their being taken to an emergency department and/or being hospitalized.

Both long-acting medications were linked to a higher risk for experiencing events such as a heart attack or heart failure. Neither drug was linked, however, to a boost in the risk for an irregular heart rhythm or stroke. (Use of anticholinergics appeared to offer a measure of protection against ischemic stroke among newly prescribed users, something not found among beta-agonist users.)

In sum, the authors said the findings indicated that all COPD patients using either type of medication need to be closely monitored for signs of related heart trouble.

"The thing is that we tend to treat diseases as if they're each in a silo," said Gershon, "but in reality they all interact with one another. People with COPD have a number of co-morbidities [or co-existing conditions]. And cardiovascular disease is one of the major ones. So questions regarding risk of this kind are very important for this type of patient population."

Dr. Prescott Woodruff, author of an accompanying editorial and a pulmonologist and critical care specialist at University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, suggested that while the fresh findings are "provocative," much of the prior research has indicated the inhalers are safe to use.

"This study suggests that these dilators might have cardiovascular side effects," he acknowledged, "but it doesn't really prove the point. And, meanwhile, there have been some really, really big clinical trials, done under very controlled conditions, which support the safety of these drugs."

It's possible that those studies may have excluded people with heart disease, Woodruff noted. "So perhaps this research is offering a more real-life point of view," he added, but admitted he's skeptical.

Patients should never stop taking a medication without talking to their doctor first, he said. "But it's certainly worth discussing," Woodruff added.

Although the study found an association between the use of long-acting bronchodilators and cardiovascular complications in older patients, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

More information

For more on COPD, visit the American Thoracic Society.

SOURCES: Andrea Gershon, M.D., M.S., scientist and respirologist, department of medicine, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center, Toronto, University of Toronto, and Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Toronto; Prescott G. Woodruff, M.D., M.P.H., pulmonologist and critical care specialist, and vice-chief of research for pulmonary and critical care division, University of California, San Francisco, Medical Center; May 20, 2013, JAMA Internal Medicine, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Voices Against Brain Cancer Comments on New Discovery That May Help MDs Diagnose and Treat Certain Pediatric Brain Tumors
2. Certain Steroids May Raise Risk of Dangerous Blood Clots
3. Certain Parents Less Likely to Follow Doctors Advice: Poll
4. Certain Lifestyle Factors Linked to Arthritis in Study Patients
5. Certain bacteria suppress production of toxic shock toxin: Probiotic potential looms
6. With Certain Strokes, Effects Can Persist a Decade Later
7. Video game exercise for an hour a day may enhance certain cognitive skills
8. Certain Men May Face Higher Risk of Brain Injury
9. Certain Diabetes Medications May Lower Heart Failure Risk
10. Certain Sleep Aids May Raise Hip Fracture Risk in Nursing Homes: Study
11. Obesity, physical inactivity linked with risk for certain molecular subtype of colorectal cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Certain COPD Meds Might Raise Heart Risks, Study Says
(Date:3/29/2017)... ... March 30, 2017 , ... CHARM CITY RUN WELCOMES ... has announced that Mercy Medical Center will serve as the official title sponsor of ... On Sunday, June 25, 2017, thousands of women will walk or run the course ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... March 30, 2017 , ... Sublime Naturals ... "Spice of Life" or "Wonder Spice", it has been used for thousands of years. ... the East," says Heshelow, author of " Turmeric: How to Use it For Your ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... ... March 29, 2017 , ... ... educational opportunities for attending prescribers at the upcoming World Congress, in Hollywood Florida ... has always been recognized as the visionary leader in the training of physicians, ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... ... March 29, 2017 , ... The Wall Centre Dental team ... patients from Burnaby, BC. Patients in need of experienced orthodontics, laser dentistry, porcelain ... the esteemed team at Wall Centre Dental. Drs. Parviz Roshan, Siamak Tehrani, Milton ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... ... March 29, 2017 , ... ... in Carnegie, OK, from Dr. Jamie Cameron, with or without a referral. ... to traditional orthodontic treatment. Depending on each patient’s case, treatment with the FASTBRACES ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/29/2017)... March 29, 2017 Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: ... for the second quarter of fiscal year 2017 following the ... news release will be followed by a teleconference available to ... and a link to the conference call webcast will be ... access the teleconference call and replay: ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... 2017  Spiral Therapeutics, Inc. today announced the ... S.L. for the worldwide exclusive rights to Bionure,s ... field of otolaryngology for aggregate payments of up ... agreement provides Spiral with the option to license ... profile. Under the terms of the agreement, Spiral ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... , March 29, 2017   Dynatronics Corporation ... the appointment of Cynthia L. McHenry ... be responsible for leading Dynatronics manufacturing, distribution, and ... report to Dynatronics, CEO Kelvyn H. Cullimore, ... an extensive search process conducted by the company ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: