Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are generally used to treat patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who suffer from repeated exacerbations. Recently, it was reported that ICS treatment increased the risk of pneumonia in COPD patients. But it is controversial.The objective of this paper is to clarify the associations between ICS treatment and the risk of pneumonia in COPD patients.
PubMed, Cochrane Library, Clinical Trials.gov, and Embase were searched from February 2019 to June 2019. Randomized clinical trials (RCTs) were incorporatedthat compared ICS with non-ICS treatment on the risk of pneumonia in COPD patients. Meta-analyses were conducted by the Peto and Mantel-Haenszel approaches with corresponding 95% CIs.
Twenty-five trials (N = 49,982 subjects) were included. Pooled results demonstrated a significantly increased risk of pneumonia with ICS use in COPD patients (RR, 1.59, 95% CI, 1.33-1.90; I2 = 51%). ICS treatment also increased the risk of severe pneumonia (RR, 2.17, 95% CI, 1.47-3.22; I2 = 29%). The results of subgroup analysis based on doses of ICS were consistent with the above. However, subgroup analyses based on types of ICS revealed that fluticasone therapy was associated with an increased risk of pneumonia but not budesonide. In addition, medium- and low-doses of budesonide treatment also did not increase the risk of pneumonia.
Use of ICS increases the risk of pneumonia in patients with COPD. The above is prominent for fluticasone-containing ICSs but not for budesonide-containing ICSs.