Inhaled steroids and risk of community-acquired pneumonia

Jordi Almirall, Ignasi Bolibar, Antoni Torres

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review


Higher risk of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) has been detected in chronic respiratory patients since early studies in the general population. Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, and those with bronchiectasis or previous tuberculosis lesions, among others, have 1.2 to 4 times higher risk of suffering from CAP than individuals without these conditions, and the risk increases with severity of the disease. At the same time, during the last few years debate has arisen concerning the effect of certain respiratory drugs currently used for treatment of these diseases. These treatments include oral medication-such as theophyllines, acetylcysteine, corticosteroids, or determined antibiotics and inhaled medication with adrenergic agonists, muscarinic cholinergic agonists, corticosteroids, or even oxygen. Controversial results and their interpretation have been recently discussed in several articles and letters in publications. We review the effect of treatments used in chronic respiratory disease, especially of inhaled steroids on the risk of CAP, and describe some questions awaiting further scientific evidence to be answered. © 2009 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-131
JournalClinical Pulmonary Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2009


  • Adverse effects
  • Community-acquired pneumonia
  • COPD
  • Inhaled steroids


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