According to researchers, ipratropium bromide (Atrovent, Combivent), a drug commonly used for the treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, significantly raises the mortality risk by cardiovascular death of those who use it. Also, exposure to the medication theophylline was associated with an increase in the risk of respiratory death, but not cardiovascular death.

The study findings were published in the September 16, 2008 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. A study of patient data from the U.S. Veterans Health Administration health care system produced the data.

A cohort of patients was studied by researchers in order to assess mortality rates at one year.

A 34 percent increase in the risk of cardiovascular death and all-cause mortality in patients who used the medication to treat COPD was discovered. Though whether or not the risk applies to women or patients with longstanding or severe COPD has yet to be determined.

The researchers discovered that, on the other hand, inhaled corticosteroids have shown an association with a 20 percent decrease in cardiovascular and all cause mortality.

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