COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a disease caused by persistent obstruction of the airways and is associated with severe emphysema or chronic bronchitis. Previous studies have shown inhaled corticosteroids can reduce the mortality rate and number of exacerbations COPD patients experience. However, results from a study conducted by researchers from the University of Washington show otherwise.
Researchers studied more than 2,650 patients with COPD who were prescribed inhaled corticosteroids for at least 80 percent of a 90-day period. Nearly 5,400 patients who had never used inhaled corticosteroids served as the comparing group.
Results of the study show patients who used inhaled corticosteroids did not have a lower mortality rate than patients who did not use the drugs. Researchers also say inhaled corticosteroids had no significant effect on the number of COPD exacerbations or COPD-related hospital stays in the participants. More than 1,000 patients who took part in the study died, and nearly 660 patients were hospitalized for COPD symptoms.
Although results from the study contradict prior research, researchers say the difference in results can be attributed to statistical biases in previous studies.