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Inhaled Corticosteroids Improve Survival in COPD

Therapy reduces all-cause mortality by 25% in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

TUESDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Inhaled corticosteroids not only reduce exacerbations in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), they also significantly reduce mortality from all causes, Canadian researchers report in the December issue of Thorax.

Don D. Sin, M.D., and colleagues at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia, analyzed data from seven randomized trials involving 5,085 patients. The trials compared effects of inhaled corticosteroids and placebo over the course of at least a year in patients with stable COPD. The primary endpoint was all-cause mortality.

During a mean of 26 months of follow-up, 4% of patients died. Compared with placebo, inhaled corticosteroids reduced all-cause mortality by approximately 25%. Benefits of treatment were more pronounced in women than men and in former smokers.

"We now await the results of the TORCH (Towards a Revolution in COPD Health) study of the long-term effects of inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting bronchodilators (alone or in combination) on mortality in COPD, in one of the largest prospective studies undertaken on the treatment of COPD," according to an editorial.

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