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Growth of preschool age children receiving daily inhaled corticosteroids

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Data on the effects of inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) on linear growth in children <5 years old are limited with conflicting results from existing studies. This study was designed to investigate growth effects of inhaled corticosteroid use in children <5 years of age treated for asthma with ICS administered through a valved holding chamber (VHC). A retrospective cohort study was performed of 145 children in three treatment groups: (1) metered-dose inhaler (MDI) containing ultrafine beclomethasone dipropionate (n = 62), (2) MDI containing fluticasone propionate (n = 32), and (3) oral montelukast sodium (n = 51). Children <5 years of age between 2000 and 2009 treated for asthma with one of the three drugs were included in the study. Linear mixed model analysis was used to examine and compare growth during sustained treatment with each of the three medications. The three treatment groups did not differ significantly in their effect on growth rates (p = 0.64). However, female subjects had significantly slower growth than male subjects (p = 0.017), and the addition of intranasal corticosteroids (INS; p = 0.013) and the presence of atopy (p = 0.015) had a significant negative effect on growth. In children <5 years of age receiving maintenance therapy for chronic asthma, low-to-medium doses of ultrafine beclomethasone or fluticasone administered through a VHC were not associated with growth inhibition compared with children receiving oral montelukast. A small but statistically significant decrease in growth was seen in subjects with positive skin testing to inhalant allergens in female subjects and in subjects receiving INS.
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Keywords: Asthma; atopy; beclomethasone; fluticasone; height z-scores; intranasal steroids; linear mixed model; metered dose inhaler; montelukast; valved holding chamber

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Pediatrics, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa, USA

Publication date: 2013-11-01

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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