He reported that there were 3,430 moderate to severe exacerbations: 1,727 in the theophylline group and 1,703 in the placebo group. The mean number of exacerbations in participants allocated to theophylline and placebo groups were essentially the same: 2.24 vs. 2.23. However, there were a fewer number of exacerbations that required hospitalization in the theophylline group, compared with the placebo groups (0.17 vs. 0.24, for an adjusted rate ratio of 0.72). Dr. Price was quick to point out that this finding applied to a relatively small number of study participants, about 3% overall.
“How you interpret this, I don’t know,” he said. “Our conclusion is that in the broad population there is no benefit [of low-dose theophylline], but maybe someone might want to study its use in frequent exacerbation patients who are getting hospitalized.”
The study was funded by the(NIHR), United Kingdom. Dr. Price reported having no financial disclosures.
This news release is also published on the MDege website, authored by Doug Brunk.