Ipratropium Associated with Higher Mortality Risk in Recently Diagnosed COPD — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
September 16, 2008

Ipratropium Associated with Higher Mortality Risk in Recently Diagnosed COPD

Ipratropium carries a higher cardiovascular mortality risk than other drugs used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to an Annals of Internal Medicine report.

Using a nested case-control design, researchers examined mortality risks in a 145,000-member cohort of U.S. veterans recently diagnosed with COPD. Analysis of Veterans Affairs databases revealed a higher risk for cardiovascular death among those with ipratropium exposure in the 6 months preceding their death than among matched controls who had not received ipratropium in the same 6-month period (odds ratio, 1.34).

Inhaled corticosteroids were associated with a decrease in cardiovascular deaths.

The authors, noting that their data suggest "a substantial number of premature deaths" due to ipratropium use, conclude that "caution is warranted" in using the drug alone in patients with a recent diagnosis of COPD.

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