Objective: To address clinical concern regarding the use of inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) and the risk for pneumonia, particularly among patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. Patients and Methods: A multicentered prospective cohort of patients admitted to the hospital from March 1, 2009, through August 31, 2009, with pneumonia or another risk factor for acute respiratory distress syndrome was analyzed to determine the risk for pneumonia requiring hospitalization among patients taking ICSs. The adjusted risk (odds ratio [OR]) for developing pneumonia because of ICSs was determined in a multiple logistic regression model. Results: Of the 5584 patients in the cohort, 495 (9%) were taking ICSs and 1234 (22%) had pneumonia requiring hospitalization. In univariate analyses, pneumonia occurred in 222 (45%) of the patients on ICSs vs 1012 (20%) in those who were not (OR, 3.28; 95% CI, 2.71-3.96; P<.001). After adjusting in the logistic regression model, prehospital ICS use was not significantly associated with pneumonia in the whole cohort (OR, 1.20; 95% CI, 0.93-1.53; P=.162), among the subset of 589 patients with COPD (OR, 1.40; 95% CI, 0.95-2.09; P=.093), among the 440 patients with asthma (OR, 1.07; 95% CI, 0.61-1.87; P=.81), nor among the remaining 4629 patients without COPD or asthma (OR, 1.32; 95% CI, 0.88-1.97; P=.179). Conclusion: When adjusted for multiple confounding variables, ICS use was not substantially associated with an increased risk for pneumonia requiring admission in our cohort.
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