Asthma: increased risk for severe pneumonia with inhaled corticosteroids

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  • In patients with asthma, current ICS use was associated with significantly increased risk of being hospitalized for pneumonia, especially with doses ≥500 µg of fluticasone-equivalent per day. 
  • The risk associated with budesonide (Pulmicort) and fluticasone (Flixotide) were similar.

Why this matters

  • It is known that ICS use increases risk for pneumonia in COPD, but findings in patients with asthma have been contradictory.
  • The present findings disagree with the conclusions of the only other study that directly assessed ICS and pneumonia risk in asthma. 
  • The finding of similar risk with budesonide and fluticasone conflict with previous findings of a higher risk with fluticasone.

Study design

  • Retrospective cohort study evaluated 152,412 patients with asthma between 1990 and 20...