Do Inhaled Corticosteroids Up Pneumonia Risk in Children with Asthma?

ICS does not appear to up pneumonia risk in pediatric asthma
ICS does not appear to up pneumonia risk in pediatric asthma

(HealthDay News) — Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) do not appear to be associated with the risk of pneumonia in children with asthma, according to a review published online Feb. 24 in Pediatrics.

Cristine Cazeiro, B.S.N., from the Federal University of Rio Grande in Brazil, and colleagues examined the correlation between ICS use and risk of pneumonia and other respiratory infections among children with asthma. Thirty-nine randomized trials that compared ICS with placebo for at least four weeks were selected, of which 31 trials with 11,615 patients contributed data to meta-analyses.

The researchers found that the incidence of pneumonia was 0.58 and 1.51 percent, respectively, in the ICS and placebo groups. Based on a meta-analysis of nine trials that revealed at least one pneumonia event, the risk of pneumonia was reduced in patients taking ICS (risk ratio, 0.65; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.44 to 0.94). The meta-analysis including all 31 trials showed no significant between-group difference in the risk of pneumonia (risk difference, −0.1 percent; 95 percent CI, −0.3 to 0.2 percent) using risk difference as effect measure. ICS was not significantly associated with the risk of pharyngitis, otitis media, or sinusitis (risk ratios, 1.01 [95 percent CI, 0.87 to 1.18], 1.07 [95 percent CI, 0.83 to 1.37], and 0.89 [95 percent CI, 0.76 to 1.05]).

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"Regular use of ICS may not increase the risk of pneumonia or other respiratory infections in children with asthma," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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