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Inhaled Steroids Cut Asthma Hospitalizations

Regular inhaler use reduces asthma-related hospital visits

MONDAY, Sept. 30, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- People with asthma who regularly use inhaled steroids reduce their hospital admissions for severe attacks by almost a third, says a new Canadian study in the journal Thorax.

Most previous research has focused on the short-term results of inhalers to prevent asthma attacks. However, this study looked at data collected over 22 years.

Researchers analyzed Saskatchewan provincial health insurance records for 30,569 people with asthma, aged 5 to 44 years, between 1975 and 1991.

That analysis included 3,894 hospital admissions and 1,886 re-admissions for asthma. About 42 in every 1,000 of the study subjects with asthma were admitted to hospital each year. However, the study found that regular use of inhaled steroids reduced overall hospital admission rates by 31 percent and re-admission rates by 39 percent.

The study authors calculated that for every 1,000 people with asthma, consistent use of inhalers could prevent five admissions and 27 re-admissions to hospital each year.

More information

There's more about asthma at the American Lung Association.

SOURCE: Thorax, news release, Sept. 30, 2002
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