It remains unclear whether severe exacerbation and pneumonia of COPD differs between patients treated with budesonide/formoterol and those treated with fluticasone/salmeterol. Therefore, we conducted a comparative study of those who used budesonide/formoterol and those treated with fluticasone/salmeterol for COPD.
Subjects in this population-based cohort study comprised patients with COPD who were treated with a fixed combination of budesonide/formoterol or fluticasone/salmeterol. All patients were recruited from the Taiwan National Health Insurance database. The outcomes including severe exacerbations, pneumonia, and pneumonia requiring mechanical ventilation (MV) were measured.
During the study period, 11,519 COPD patients receiving fluticasone/salmeterol and 7,437 patients receiving budesonide/formoterol were enrolled in the study. Pairwise matching (1:1) of fluticasone/salmeterol and budesonide/formoterol populations resulted in to two similar subgroups comprising each 7,295 patients. Patients receiving fluticasone/salmeterol had higher annual rate and higher risk of severe exacerbation than patients receiving budesonide/formoterol (1.2219/year vs 1.1237/year, adjusted rate ratio, 1.08; 95% CI, 1.07-1.10). In addition, patients receiving fluticasone/salmeterol had higher incidence rate and higher risk of pneumonia than patients receiving budesonide/formoterol (12.11 per 100 person-years vs 10.65 per 100 person-years, adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 1.13; 95% CI, 1.08-1.20). Finally, patients receiving fluticasone/salmeterol had higher incidence rate and higher risk of pneumonia requiring MV than patients receiving budesonide/formoterol (3.94 per 100 person-years vs 3.47 per 100 person-years, aHR, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.05-1.24). A similar trend was seen before and after propensity score matching analysis, intention-to-treat, and as-treated analysis with and without competing risk.
Based on this retrospective observational study, long-term treatment with fixed combination budesonide/formoterol was associated with fewer severe exacerbations, pneumonia, and pneumonia requiring MV than fluticasone/salmeterol in COPD patients.