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COLLABORATION ON INHALED STEROIDS IN COPD
Although chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a very common respiratory disorder, few interventions have been shown to affect mortality from the disease. Inhaled corticosteroids have been found to reduce COPD exacerbations and improve health status and, as exacerbations have an effect on disease progression, one would expect inhaled corticosteroids to reduce mortality. However, studies of inhaled steroids in COPD have not been powered to investigate mortality. In this month’s issue of Thorax we report a meta-analysis by Sin and colleagues which shows, for the first time, that inhaled corticosteroids reduce all-cause mortality in COPD. This paper is important because it resulted from a unique collaboration between academia and industry that allowed a pooled analysis of the original data from seven trials to obtain a large dataset of 5085 patients. As in any analyses of this nature there are limitations, but these are addressed in the paper and accompanying editorial. …