In COPD patients, pneumonia survival in hospitals improved with inhaled corticosteroids: Study

In COPD patients, pneumonia survival in hospitals improved with inhaled corticosteroids: StudyIn COPD patients, pneumonia survival in hospitals is improved with inhaled corticosteroid treatment. The findings of the study uncovered that lower in-hospital mortality was seen in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients who received a combination of long-acting inhaled bronchodilators (IBD) therapy and corticosteroids, compared to patients on IBD alone.

Inhaled corticosteroids – although effective for COPD management – have been associated with adverse side effects such as increasing the risk of pneumonia.


The study was based on the records from 1,165 hospitals extracted from a Japanese database.

The researchers identified 7,033 eligible COPD patients admitted with pneumonia. They divided the participants into two groups: patients taking inhaled corticosteroids with IBD therapy, and patients on IBDs only.

Patients on IBD therapy only were more likely to be older and have a lower body mass index, worse overall health, and more severe pneumonia. In this group, in-hospital mortality was 13.2 percent – compared to 8.1 percent for the combined therapy group. The researchers suggest that inhaled corticosteroids may offer protective effects against pneumonia and pneumonia-related mortality.

The researchers concluded, “Outpatient inhaled therapy with ICS [inhaled corticosteroids] and IBD was associated with lower mortality from pneumonia in patients with COPD than IBD treatment alone. ICS may have protective effects against pneumonia and help prevent pneumonia-related mortality in patients with COPD.”

Understanding the risk between COPD and pneumonia

Healthy individuals with pneumonia recover quite easily and respond well to treatment. For a COPD patient, treating and recovering from pneumonia is far more challenging, because their lungs simply don’t work as well, compared to a person without the lung disease.

Pneumonia is particularly dangerous for COPD patients – in fact, it could be life threatening. Pneumonia can greatly and negatively impact COPD and vice versa, ending up in a vicious cycle.

The best way to prevent complications associated with pneumonia in COPD is recognizing the signs and symptoms of pneumonia early on, as they differ from COPD exacerbations.

COPD symptoms and exacerbations include cough, shortness of breath, sputum production, wheezing, and chest tightness. Pneumonia will cause all these plus fever, chills and shaking, and chest pain when coughing.

By recognizing the signs of pneumonia early on, you can have greater success with treatment and lower your risk of complications or even early mortality.

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Author Bio

Devon Andre has been involved in the health and dietary supplement industry for a number of years. Devon has written extensively for Bel Marra Health. He has a Bachelor of Forensic Science from the University of Windsor, and went on to complete a Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh. Devon is keenly aware of trends and new developments in the area of health and wellness. He embraces an active lifestyle combining diet, exercise and healthy choices. By working to inform readers of the options available to them, he hopes to improve their health and quality of life.