Inhaled steroids offer cardioprotection
INHALED corticosteroid therapy may confer benefits beyond asthma control by reducing all-cause and cardiovascular mortality among women with persistent asthma.
A US observational study found that inhaled corticosteroid use over five years was associated with a 42% lower risk of all-cause mortality and a 65% reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality among 2671 women aged 30 to 55 years.
“These observational data suggest that ICS may indeed have anti-inflammatory benefits beyond the airway, a possibility that merits further study,” the authors said.
The researchers adjusted for confounders including age, asthma severity, smoking, cardiovascular risk factors, aspirin use and statin use.
Inhaled corticosteroid use might lower C-reactive protein production indirectly by down-regulating the expression of certain cytokines produced in the airways, reducing systemic inflammation similarly to the cardioprotective benefits of statins, they speculated.
Professor Christine Jenkins, head of asthma research at the Woolcock Institute in Sydney said the findings were consistent with data from previous, smaller epidemiological studies.
She said they needed to be corroborated in a randomised trial, but if they were it would provide an “important benefit” to patients.