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Salmeterol/Fluticasone Benefits COPD Patients

Compared to tiotropium, salmeterol/fluticasone is associated with lower mortality rate

MONDAY, Jan. 7 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the exacerbation rate is similar in those prescribed either salmeterol/fluticasone propionate or tiotropium. But those treated with salmeterol/fluticasone propionate may have a higher overall health status and a reduced risk of death, according to a study published in the Jan. 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Jadwiga A. Wedzicha, M.D., of the Royal Free and University College Medical School, University College London in the U.K., and colleagues randomly assigned 1,323 COPD patients to receive either salmeterol/fluticasone propionate or tiotropium and followed them for two years.

The researchers found that the modeled annual exacerbation rate was almost the same in the salmeterol/fluticasone propionate group and tiotropium group (1.28 versus 1.32). At two years, however, they found that the salmeterol/fluticasone propionate group had significantly lower total scores on the St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (difference 2.1 units) and a significantly lower mortality rate (3 percent versus 6 percent).

"We believe that this has important implications for the choice of therapy in the management of COPD," the authors conclude.

Several researchers involved in the study have received previous grants from GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca.

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