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03-03-2010 | Respiratory | Article

ICSs do not have dose-dependent effects on growth in asthmatic girls


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MedWire News: Results from a US study suggest that inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) treatment is not associated with significant dose-dependent growth reductions in adolescent girls.

ICS treatment has proven effective for reducing airway inflammation and treating patients with persistent asthma, but concerns have been raised about potential dose-dependent effects on linear growth in children, explained lead researcher M Lovegreen, from the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk, Virginia.

To investigate further, the researchers studied growth data on 87 girls with asthma who attended tertiary care clinics between the ages of 8 and 13 years, 45% of whom were African–American.

The patients were divided into three groups based on ICS dose; high-dose (more than 440 mcg/day), low-dose (less than 176 mcg/day), and intermittent low-dose ICSs.

The average age at the start of ICS treatment was 10.2 years and the mean clinical follow-up period was 2.1 years.

In the high-dose ICS group, 20 patients took a total of 69 oral steroid courses, compared with a total of 21 oral steroid courses in 12 patients in the other two groups combined.

Analysis revealed that average growth velocity was 5.3 cm/year among patients in the high-dose group, 5.8 cm/year among those in the low-dose group, and 6.4 cm/year among girls in the intermittent low-dose group. None of these differences in growth among the three groups were significant.

Speaking at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in News Orleans, Louisiana, USA, Lovegreen concluded: “High-dose inhaled corticosteroids with or without oral steroids did not significantly affect growth velocity in pubescent females.”

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Mark Cowen

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