Specialty medical societies offer evidence-based conclusions on inhaled steroid treatment for asthma

(NORTHBROOK, IL, December 9, 2003) - Inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) therapy remains the gold standard of asthma treatment, according to findings from a systematic evidence review released today by the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI), and the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI). Published in the December issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the ACCP, the review offers evidence-based conclusions on several prominent risks associated with ICS therapy for the treatment of adult and pediatric asthma.

"ICS therapy has been the gold standard in asthma treatment for 20 years because of its proven effectiveness. However, since the inception of ICS therapy, physicians have been concerned about side effects, particularly in special populations, such as children, women, and the elderly," said lead author Frank T. Leone, MD, MS, FCCP, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA. "After a systematic and accurate review of the proven risks, we can say with confidence that the majority of evidence supports the conclusion that the clinical effectiveness of ICS therapy decidedly outweighs the proven risks."

An expert panel with representatives from the ACCP, the AAAAI, and the ACAAI identified critical questions that impact decisions regarding the use of ICS therapy in relation to the five adult and pediatric risk areas of bone mineral density (BMD), cataracts, glaucoma, growth retardation, and skin thinning. Panel members reviewed 108 asthma studies related to ICS therapy complications and summarized all relevant evidence for each risk area. A consensus statement was provided for each risk area along with a grade to reflect the quantity and quality of evidence supporting each conclusion. Overall, the panel concluded that the benefits associated with ICS use greatly exceed the risks. In regards to the effect of ICS therapy on BMD, the panel stro

Contact: Jennifer Stawarz
American College of Chest Physicians

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