Asthma patients treated with inhaled corticosteroids were more likely to develop pneumonia or lower respiratory infection, according to research that appeared in the online edition of the journal Chest. 

The risk increase correlated with increased dosage; those receiving the highest dosages were more than twice as likely to experience respiratory complications.

Investigators used conditional logistic regression to determine the association between the dose and type of inhaled corticosteroid and risk of pneumonia or LRTI when analyzing primary care data from The Health Improvement Network in the U.K.

The study revealed that asthma patients who had pneumonia or LRTI were 24% more likely to have received a prescription for inhaled corticosteroids in the prior 90 days than were asthma patients without infection; those receiving inhaled corticosteroids over 1000 µg daily were 2.04 times more likely than controls to have pneumonia or LRTI.