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Advair Associated with Increased Cardiovascular Risks Among Some Older Patients

Filed May 23rd, 2013 Laurie

According to a new study, older people suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) who take inhaled beta2-agonists, like the popular inhaler Advair, have an increased risk of cardiac events.

COPD includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, and an estimated 24 million Americans suffer from it. Beta2-agonists, including Advair, are used to treat symptoms of COPD, improve lung functioning, and reduce the number of COPD exacerbations.

The study was led by Andrea Gershon, M.D., MSc, FRCPC, of the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto and respirologist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center. She and her researchers utilized health care databases from Ontario, Canada, to search for patients ages 66 and older who met the criteria for having COPD and who were treated for the disease from September 1, 2003, through March 31, 2009, according to

The authors of the study, published online at JAMA Internal Medicine, concluded that inhaled anticholinergics were linked to a significantly increased risk of cardiac events, including death. The researchers wrote: “Among older individuals with COPD, new use of long-acting β-agonists and anticholinergics is associated with similar increased risks of cardiovascular events. Close monitoring of COPD patients requiring long-acting bronchodilators is needed, regardless of drug class,” reported.

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