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Inhaled steroids do not increase pneumonia risk in COPD patients

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A study has found that inhaled steroids do not increase the risk of pneumonia for patients being treated for COPD

The results were published at the conclusion of a meta-analysis which found that treating patients with COPD with budesonide, a corticosteroid, for 12 months does not increase the risk of pneumonia.

The authors pooled patient data from seven large clinical trials of inhaled budesonide versus control regimens in patients with stable COPD. Data from 7042 patients was analysed, of whom 3801 were using inhaled budesonide and 3241 were on control treatment.

The research was conducted in response to growing concerns that use of inhaled corticosteroids might be associated with increased risk of pneumonia in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The Lancet; 374: 9691, 712 - 719

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