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Inhaled Corticosteroids Reduce Death in Patients with COPD

id not, providing a mortality reduction rate of 53 percent. When patients who received steroids in the year prior were removed from the analysis, mortality was reduced by 34 percent. Researchers attribute this finding to multifactorial reasons, including reductions in exacerbations of the disease and suppression of inflammation.

Researchers also found a 23 percent reduced risk of death when comparing the effects of inhaled steroids with bronchodilators in patients in the 65+ group. In all cases, the most significant results were found when inhaled corticosteroids were administered within the first 30 days following hospital discharge.

“Our results indicate that the effect of inhaled corticosteroids is relatively short-term and that those currently using it are relatively better protected, ” said Dr. Macie. “Inhaled corticosteroids should be prescribed as soon as clinically indicated. By treating COPD with inhaled corticosteroids, we have the potential to reduce the effect and prolong life.”

“The findings from this study are intriguing for clinicians and point to the need for further research to define the role and mechanisms of the effect of inhaled corticosteroids on both cardiovascular and respiratory mortality,” said W. Michael Alberts, MD, FCCP, President of the ACCP.

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