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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Short-acting beta2-agonists for stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, July 2002
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Short-acting beta2-agonists for stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, July 2002
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd001495
Pubmed ID

Piersante Sestini, E Renzoni, Stewart Robinson, Phillippa Poole, Felix SF Ram


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a chronic condition characterised by progressive airflow limitation that is at most partially reversible. Despite the lack of reversibility patients often report symptomatic improvement with short-acting beta-2 bronchodilator medication. Short-acting beta-2 bronchodilators are used in the management of both stable and acute exacerbations of COPD. To determine the clinical effectiveness and assess the adverse effects of regular treatment with short-acting beta-2 agonists bronchodilators in patients with stable COPD. A search was carried out using the Cochrane Airways Group database. In addition, the reference lists of review articles and the randomised controlled trials (RCTs) retrieved in full text were searched for other potentially relevant citations. RCTs of at least one week in duration comparing treatment with inhaled short-acting beta-2 agonists with placebo in patients with stable COPD. Data extraction and study quality assessment was performed independently by two reviewers. Where further or missing data was required, authors of studies were contacted. The data was analysed using the Cochrane Review Manager 4.1. Thirteen studies were included in this review. All studies used a crossover design and were of high quality. Spirometry performed at the end of the study period and after the administration of treatment (post-bronchodilator) showed a slight but significant increase in FEV1 and FVC when compared to placebo (WMD=0.14 L; 95%CI=0.04,0.25 & WMD=0.30 L; 95%CI=0.02,0.58, respectively). In addition, both morning and evening PEFR were significantly better during active treatment than during placebo (WMD=29.17 L/min; 95%CI=0.25,58.09 & WMD=36.75 L/min; 95%CI=2.56,70.94, respectively). A significant improvement in daily breathlessness score was observed during treatment with beta-2 agonist when compared to placebo (SMD=1.33; 95%CI=1.0,1.65). The risk of dropping out of the study (treatment failure) when on treatment with placebo was almost twice that of patients on treatment with beta-2 agonists (RR=0.49; 95%CI=0.33,0.73). Patients preferred beta-2 agonists almost 10 times more frequently to placebo (OR=9.04; 95%CI=4.64,17.61). One study that used a validated questionnaire for 'quality of life' assessment, found highly significant improvements in the scores for dyspnoea (p=0.003) and fatigue (p=0.0003) during treatment with salbutamol. No studies reported serious side effects during treatment with inhaled beta-agonists. However, none of the studies were of sufficient length or size in order to allow any meaningful information on long-term occurrence of side effects. Use of short-acting beta-2 agonists on a regular basis for at least seven days in stable COPD is associated with improvements in post bronchodilator lung function and a decrease in breathlessness. Patients are far more likely to prefer treatment with beta-2 agonists than placebo, and less likely to drop out from such treatment. None of the studies included in this review reported sufficient data or were of sufficient length or size in order to provide reliable information on adverse effects. Therefore large scale, parallel, longer term studies would be needed to investigate the effect of treatment with regular inhaled beta-2 agonists on mortality, disease progression and side effects. Newer, long acting bronchodilators (including long-acting beta-2 agonists) are currently available and they may be more practical and/or effective in these patients. However, this review indicates that treatment with these older, inexpensive drugs is beneficial in patients with COPD.

Mendeley readers

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 165 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United Kingdom 1 <1%
United States 1 <1%
Unknown 163 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 31 19%
Student > Bachelor 23 14%
Researcher 15 9%
Other 9 5%
Student > Ph. D. Student 9 5%
Other 26 16%
Unknown 52 32%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 60 36%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 16 10%
Nursing and Health Professions 13 8%
Social Sciences 6 4%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 4 2%
Other 11 7%
Unknown 55 33%
Attention Score in Context

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 3. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 09 April 2020.
All research outputs
of 22,901,818 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 12,335 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 44,381 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 34 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 22,901,818 research outputs across all sources so far. This one is in the 44th percentile – i.e., 44% of other outputs scored the same or lower than it.
So far Altmetric has tracked 12,335 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 30.5. This one is in the 21st percentile – i.e., 21% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 44,381 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one is in the 11th percentile – i.e., 11% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.
We're also able to compare this research output to 34 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 23rd percentile – i.e., 23% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.