Inhaled Steroids May Increase Diabetes Risk

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Study: Steroid Inhalers for Breathing Problems May Slightly Increase Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Using inhaled corticosteroids to treat chronic breathing problems may slightly increase a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a new study finds.

The study’s authors say the increase in risk probably doesn’t outweigh the benefits to people taking daily puffs of inhaled corticosteroids to control asthma.

But researchers are worried about the threat of diabetes when these medications are used to ease breathing in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, a condition for which the benefits of inhaled corticosteroids are less clear.

“For asthma, I’m not as concerned because they are so effective. They keep people out of the emergency room. They save lives,” says lead author Samy Suissa, PhD, director for the center of clinical epidemiology at Jewish General Hospital in Montreal.

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