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Inhaled anticholinergics and the long-term treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: Weighing benefits and risks

Authors
Publisher
Elsevier B.V.
Publication Date
Volume
9
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/s1098-3597(09)80012-4
Disciplines
  • Medicine

Abstract

Abstract A meta-analysis recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found an increased risk of nonfatal myocardial infarction, stroke, and cardiovascular death associated with inhaled anticholinergic use in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); however, inherent limitations in the meta-analysis and contradictory results from other studies cast uncertainty onto its conclusions. For example, the Understanding Potential Long-term Impacts on Function with Tiotropium trial, a large, prospective, 4-year outcome study in nearly 6000 patients with COPD, did not demonstrate an increase in cardiovascular events with anticholinergic therapy. Until more data are available, clinicians should always carefully weigh safety and efficacy data and help patients make informed decisions about their COPD care.

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