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Inhaled steroids for children: effects on growth
The effect of long-term use of inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) on growth in asthmatic children and adolescents remain a controversial issue.
Objective: To determine whether inhaled steroid therapy causes delayed linear growth and other anthropometric parameters change (height, weight, body mass index – BMI) in children with asthma in a 2 years survey.
Methods: 76 children (5-18 years old) with mild to severe persistent asthma treated with inhaled coricosteroids alone or in association with long acting beta agonist therapy and other anti-inflammatory therapy (montelukast) in conformity with GINA 2006 guideline was assessed in Department of Clinical Allergology and Immunology “St. Marie” Children Hospital – Iassy. The dynamic relationship between ICS – dose and linear growth was followed. Height/age, weight/age and BMI/age Z scores were calculated every twelve months and the data obtained was compared with those recorded from 75 children – control group.
Results: after 2 years of ICS use in children with asthma we found a decrease in height gain velocity especially in the second year of survey (p=0,012), without any statistical significant impact on weight and BMI. There was no correlation between the level of ICS dose (small, medium or height) and the growth curve in height, weight and BMI.
Conclusions: long-term ICS therapy might affect the linear growth in children with asthma regardless of dose, without a significant impact on weight or BMI.
Key words: asthma, inhaled corticosteroid therapy, velocity of linear growth