A new study has revealed that the use of inhaled steroids can increase the risk of diabetes . It was found that people who took inhaled corticosteroids have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and that this also rises with the level of dosage.
Scientists at Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research in Montreal, Canada, found that the chances are even greater if the patient suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), but less so for asthmatics . The study, published in the American Journal of Medicine and involving the analysis of around 400,000 patients that have been treated for COPD or asthma, found that inhaled corticosteroids increased the rate of onset of diabetes by 34 per cent for each year of use.
Although it is already known that oral corticosteroids increase the risk of diabetes, this is the first evidence that the inhaled form has the same effect.
Samy Suissa, lead author of the study, commented “These medications are very effective in asthma, so the benefits clearly outweigh the risk for asthmatics. However, their effectiveness is questionable in COPD, where they are also used in higher doses. This is a very different risk/benefit situation.”
Suissa added “We recommend that physicians reserve the use of inhaled steroids for the patients who truly benefit from these medications, namely asthmatics, and curb their use in COPD to the few patients for whom they are indicated.”

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