Published: 2017-08-26

Assessment of glycemic status of COPD patients on long term corticosteroid therapy

Vivek Kumar Verma, Ranjit Kumar Nim, Manoj Kumar, Premshanker Singh, Geeta Singh, Anand Kumar Singh


Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a preventable and treatable disease characterized by persistent airflow limitation that is usually progressive and associated with an enhanced chronic inflammatory response in the airways and the lung to noxious particles or gases. Among the pharmacological therapy, inhaled beta- agonist and anticholinergics are the mainstay therapy of COPD along with corticosteroid. Steroid therapy is associated with various potential adverse effects like steroid induced deranged glycemic status. So, we sought to examine the association between long term corticosteroid therapy and glycemic status in COPD patients.

Methods: A cross sectional study was done to assess the glycemic status in COPD patients on long term corticosteroid therapy in a rural tertiary care centre on patients satisfying inclusion and exclusion criteria. Inclusion criteria includes COPD patients on steroid based therapy (inhaled/systemic or both) for at least 6 months. Known case of type 2 diabetes mellitus, bronchial asthma, interstitial lung disease, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies, connective tissue disorders, recipients of organ transplant or immunosuppressive therapy, patients having co morbidities like renal failure, liver failure, heart failure and patients on other drugs known to cause hyperglycemia were excluded. Random blood sugar, HbA1C etc, was done and data was analyzed by SPSS version 22.0.

Results: Total 46 patients were included in study. Mean age was 63.22 years with minimum age 47 years and maximum age 80 years. 35 patients (76.09%) were male and 11 patients (23.91%) were female. Sex ratio was 3.18:1. 26 patients (56.52%) were taking both inhaled and systemic corticosteroids, 12 patients (26.09%) were taking only inhaled corticosteroids and 8 patients (17.39%) were taking systemic corticosteroid therapy. 14 patients (30.43%) were found to have impaired glucose tolerance, 7 patients (15.22%) were diagnosed as a case of diabetes mellitus and 25 patients (54.35%) were found to be euglycemic.

Conclusions: We conclude that incidence of deranged glycemic status is more common among COPD patients receiving only systemic corticosteroid therapy or both systemic and inhaled corticosteroid therapy. Further, inhaled corticosteroids are better in terms of glycemic control among COPD patients on corticosteroid therapy. Hence, we recommend routine screening of glycemic status in COPD patients on corticosteroid therapy.


COPD, Glycemic status, Inhaled corticosteroid, Systemic corticosteroid

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