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January 4, 1971

Aerosols and Aerosol Propellants in Asthma

Author Affiliations

Northridge, Calif

JAMA. 1971;215(1):118. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03180140082021

To the Editor.—  A recent issue of The Journal (214:81, 1970) carried both a report of a study by Taylor and Harris and an editorial entitled "Cardiac Toxicity of Aerosol Propellants." The authors attempt the conclusion that the fluorinated hydrocarbon propellants used in bronchodilator aerosols are related to a claimed increase in sudden, unexpected deaths from asthma during the last decade. As a service to those many physicians and their patients who find pressurized bronchodilating aerosols helpful, we feel it our responsibility to question the conclusions stated by Taylor and Harris and the data used in their support. The conclusions appear unwarranted and have no application to the use of pressurized aerosols under the supervision of a physician.The positive correlation between an increased number of deaths from asthma and an increase in the number of pressurized aerosols distributed to patients appears to apply principally in England and Wales.