Background: We investigated the possibility of preventing common cold-like symptoms as a previously unknown benefit of leukotriene receptor antagonists (LTRAs). Methods: A total of 279 adult patients with bronchial asthma referred to our hospital between June and December 2004 were retrospectively analyzed. Patients were divided into LTRA treated and untreated groups. Frequency of acute exacerbations and number of visits to emergency rooms and of hospital admissions were analyzed as indicators of frequency of infections and asthma exacerbation over the previous 12 months. Results: Irrespective of inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) use, frequency of infections was significantly lower in the LTRA treated group (0.3 ± 0.7 times/year) than in the LTRA untreated group (1.6 ± 4.2 times/year) (P < 0.05), suggesting that LTRA therapy prevents common cold-like symptoms. Frequency of acute exacerbations and number of hospital admissions were significantly lower in the LTRA treated versus LTRA untreated group (0.4 ± 0.8 versus 2.7 ± 4.3 times/year and 0.0 ± 0.2 versus 0.4 ± 0.7 times/year, respectively; both P < 0.01). When the patients were divided into ICS treated and untreated groups, none of the parameters analyzed differed significantly between the two groups, although all parameters tended to be lower in the ICS treated group. Conclusions: Adult asthma patients undergoing treatment with LTRAs exhibit lower incidence rates of common cold-like symptoms than those not receiving LTRAs. LTRAs play an important role in reducing the incidence of common cold-like symptoms among asthma patients and in suppressing exacerbation of asthma symptoms possibly associated with these symptoms.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy