Steroid-inhaler use cuts hospital stays

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The study quoted in the following article is by Drs. Samy Suissa, Pierre Ernst and Abbas Kezouh, “Regular use of inhaled corticosteroids and the long term prevention of hospitalisation for asthma” which was published in the journal Thorax in October 2002.

Tuesday, October 1, 2002 – Globe and Mail Print Edition, Page R8

London -- Regular use of steroid inhalers can cut hospital admissions for asthma by a third, according to new research into their long-term effects published today.

Scientists at McGill University Health Centre in Montreal said their study of asthma patients over 22 years showed the benefits of inhaled steroids for asthma.

"In this large-scale, population-based study we found that, over the long term, regular use of inhaled corticosteroids is associated with a reduction in the rate of hospital admissions for asthma by one third," said Dr. Samy Suissa, who headed the research team.

Corticosteroids are medications used to treat inflammatory diseases such as asthma and chronic lung disease.

"Regular use of low dose inhaled corticosteroids prevents a large proportion of hospital admissions with asthma, both early and later on in the course of the disease," Dr. Suissa added.

The Canadian researchers said the benefits of inhaled steroids continued beyond the first four years of monitoring only if the drugs were taken regularly. But they added that only between 15 to 20 per cent of patients prescribed inhaled steroids use them properly.

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Page Last Updated: 07/03/2017