Background: The use of inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) decreases the frequency of COPD exacerbations. Recently, pneumonia was reported as a complication of ICS in patients with COPD. However, there have been few reports concerning the relationship between ICS and pneumonia in Japan. Moreover, there is little information on the types of ICS.
Patients and methods: To clarify these issues, we investigated the occurrence of pneumonia in Japanese patients with COPD. We retrospectively investigated the occurrence of pneumonia in patients with COPD in our hospital from January 2009 to August 2013. Morbidity and mortality, ICS use, age, sex, and COPD classification were investigated. A group of patients with COPD who received ICS and a group of patients with COPD who did not receive ICS were compared each other.
Results: Fifty-one patients developed pneumonia among 639 (7.98%) patients with COPD. Among 252 ICS-treated patients with COPD, 13 (5.16%) developed pneumonia, and among 387 ICS-untreated patients with COPD, 38 (9.82%) developed pneumonia. The mortality rate in ICS-treated patients with COPD was 7.7%, while that in ICS-untreated patients was 10.5% (P=0.767). Fluticasone/salmeterol use tended to show a higher risk of pneumonia than budesonide/formoterol use. The use of ICS did not increase the risk of pneumonia or mortality due to pneumonia in Japanese patients with COPD.
Conclusion: ICS might not increase the risk of pneumonia in Japanese patients with COPD. In regard to pneumonia, ICS can be safely used in Japanese patients with COPD. Because there are apparent differences in lung diseases among races, appropriate treatment should be investigated in each country.
Keywords: COPD; adverse event; inhaled corticosteroid; pneumonia.