Inhaled steroids may have benefits beyond lungs

September 26, 2008 2:05:30 PM PDT
We've often heard about the concerns of the long-term use of inhaled steroids. But now there's word that older women who use them for asthma may actually have benefits beyond that purpose. The study in the September issue of Chest found older women using inhaled steroids were significantly less likely to die from any cause over five years compared to comparable women not using inhaled steroids. Forty-two percent of those women had a reduced likelihood of dying from any cause and a 65 percent reduced likelihood of dying from a heart-related cause.

Scientists say the apparently non-pulmonary benefits of inhaled steroids remained strong after the researchers controlled for a variety of factors that might influence the results.