About the Authors

Lisette I. Z. Kunz

L.I.Z.Kunz@lumc.nl

Affiliation Department of Pulmonology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands

Jolanda Strebus

Affiliation Department of Pulmonology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands

Simona E. Budulac

Affiliation Department of Epidemiology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands

Therese S. Lapperre

Affiliation Department of Pulmonology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands

Peter J. Sterk

Affiliation Department of Respiratory Medicine, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Dirkje S. Postma

Affiliation Department of Pulmonology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands

Thais Mauad

Affiliation Department of Pathology, São Paulo University Medical School, São Paulo, Brazil

Wim Timens

Affiliation Department of Pathology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands

Pieter S. Hiemstra

Affiliation Department of Pulmonology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands

the GLUCOLD (Groningen Leiden Universities Corticosteroids in Obstructive Lung Disease) Study Group

Membership of the GLUCOLD Study Group is provided in the Acknowledgments

Competing Interests

Mrs. Kunz, Mrs. Strebus, and Mrs. Budulac have no relationships that present a potential conflict of interest. Mrs. Lapperre received payments for a lecture at GlaxoSmithKline. Prof. Sterk, Prof. Postma, Prof. Timens and Prof. Hiemstra received unrestricted grants for the GLUCOLD project from GlaxoSmithKline, The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), The Netherlands Asthma Foundation, Stichting Astma Bestrijding (SAB), Leiden University Medical Center and University Medical Center Groningen. Prof. Sterk received a grant from Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), an EU public-private grant supported by 10 pharmaceutical industries. Prof. Postma has been a consultant to AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Chiesi, GlaxoSmithKline, Nycomed, and TEVA. She has received funding from AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, and Nycomed. Travel to ERS or ATS has been partially funded by AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Chiesi, and Nycomed. Prof. Mauad received a grant from Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) for the GLUCOLD project. Prof. Timens received a grant from The Netherlands Asthma Foundation, an unrestricted grant from Merck Sharp Dohme and payments for lectures at GlaxoSmithKline. In addition, he received travel expenses for invited lectures at British Division of the International Academy of Pathology, University of Giessen Lung Center, University of Graz, European Respiratory Society, and Menarini Diagnostics. Prof. Hiemstra received grants from Boehringer Ingelheim, Centocor, and Galapagos. The authors have no patents and products in development to declare. The authors did use fluticasone propionate and salmeterol (either the combination or fluticasone alone), which is marketed by GlaxoSmithKline, for our investigator-initiated study. This does not alter the authors' adherence to all the PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials. There are no other employments, patents and products in development or modified products to declare.

Author Contributions

Conceived and designed the experiments: LIK TSL PJS DSP TM WT PSH. Performed the experiments: LIK JS. Analyzed the data: LIK JS. Wrote the paper: LIK PSH. Read and critically revised the manuscript: SEB TSL PJS TM WT DSP. Approved the final manuscript: LIK JS SEB TSL PJS DSP TM WT PSH.