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Inhaled steroids boost diabetes mellitus risk, particularly in COPD patients

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November 14 is the World Diabetes Day, a worldwide campaign led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and its member associations to engage the public in diabetes advocacy and awareness.

World diabetes Day was initiated in 1991 by the IDF and World Health Organization in response to growing concern about diabetes.  The United nations adopted the World Diabetes Day as an official event in 2007.

The following article is published to help readers understand one possible risk for Diabetes.

Patients who use inhaled corticosteroids, particularly in high doses, are at increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus, a new study published in the American Journal of Medicine suggests.

Researchers at the Jewish General Hospital's Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research (LDI) In Montreal found every year of use of inhaled corticosteroids increased the rate of onset of type 2 diabetes mellitus from 1.4 percent to 1.9 percent, a 34 percent increase.

The study raises special concern for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder or COPD, but much less significant for asthmatics, Jewish General Hospital said in a statement.

Inhaled corticosteroids delivered in either aerosol sprays or micropowders include fluticasone (Flonase®, Advair®), budesonide (Pulmicort®, Rhinocort®) and beclometasone (QVAR®, Beclovent®), among others.

It has already been known for long that oral corticosteroids like predinisone increase the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus, but the current study is the first to find inhaled corticosteroids can also boost the risk.

Dr. Samy Suissa and colleagues established the association after analysing data from a cohort of nearly 400,000 patients treated for COPD or asthma.

Dr. Suissa said "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."

Diabetes mellitus affects one in 10 people in the United States now. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scientists estimated by 2050, nearly one third of Americans will live with the disease.

People with diabetes mellitus either can't produce insulin or they can produce insulin, but the hormone can't effectively control blood sugar levels.

Jimmy Downs
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