HealthDay News — For black patients with asthma treated with inhaled corticosteroids (ICS), outcomes are similar with addition of tiotropium and long-acting β-agonists (LABAs), according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Michael E. Wechsler, MD, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and colleagues conducted a multisite study to compare the effectiveness and safety of tiotropium versus LABAs when used with ICS in black adults with asthma. Patients received ICS plus once-daily tiotropium (532 patients) or twice-daily LABAs (538 patients).

The researchers found that the time to first exacerbation did not differ for LABA + ICS versus tiotropium + ICS (rate ratio, 0.90; 95% confidence interval, 0.73 to 1.11; P = 0.31). No difference was seen in the change in forced expiratory volume in one second between the groups at 12 months (between-group difference, 0.020; P = 0.33) or 18 months (between-group difference, 0.025; P = 0.49). No between-group differences were seen in the Asthma Control Questionnaire score at 18 months (between-group difference, 0.04; P = 0.70). Other patient-reported outcomes also did not differ between the groups. Arg16Gly ADRB2 alleles were not associated with the effects of tiotropium + ICS versus LABA + ICS (P = 0.97).

“These findings do not support the superiority of LABA + ICS compared with tiotropium + ICS for black patients with asthma,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.


  1. Wechsler ME, Yawn BP, Fuhlbrigge AL, et al. Anticholinergic vs Long-Acting β-Agonist in Combination With Inhaled Corticosteroids in Black Adults With Asthma. JAMA. 2015;314(16):1720-1730.