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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Effectiveness of inhaled corticosteroids in preventing morbidity and mortality in individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and the impact of coexisting asthma Goring, Sarah


Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a devastating illness that affects 4.3% of the population of British Columbia over the age of 45 years. Asthma is known to coexist in 10-20% of individuals with obstructive lung disease, and adds to the substantial burden of illness posed by COPD alone. Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are currently recommended for the management of COPD among individuals with frequent exacerbations; however, the ability of inhaled corticosteroids to reduce death and hospitalizations among individuals with COPD is controversial. Less is known about the effectiveness of ICS among individuals who are afflicted with both COPD and asthma. Methods: We used a retrospective cohort study design and administrative data to estimate the relative effectiveness of ICS in reducing hospitalizations or death among individuals with concomitant asthma and COPD, compared with individuals with COPD alone. We used an extended Cox model to estimate this association, with a time-varying measure of exposure to ICS. Results: We did not find any association between ICS and hazard of death or hospitalization among individuals with COPD alone (HR = 0.99; 95% CI: 0.94 – 1.05), however the hazard was 18% lower (HR = 0.82; 95% CI: 0.69-0.99) among individuals with concomitant disease. Conclusions: Individuals with combined COPD and asthma show significant benefit from the use of ICS and are more responsive to the effects of ICS than individuals with COPD alone.

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