Study: Using Asthma Inhaler May Stunt Child Growth
SOLON, Ohio – A new study shows that children who use an inhaler for asthma may end up shorter later in life.
The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, surveyed nearly 1,000 children into their adulthoods.
It found that kids who used inhaled steroids before they hit puberty were about a half-inch shorter than those who did not use the drug.
”This is one of the best studies that have actually looked at the long-term data, but it’s not the first study,” said University Hospitals Dr. Samuel Friedlander. “What is also notable is that in this study, they used about 400 micrograms, whereas most of my patients that are in childhood, I can use 200 micrograms. So, we don’t know for sure whether even if the half-of-an-inch issue is going to be an issue for lower dosages.”
Friedlander said about one in 10 Americans suffer from the disease.
Despite the study’s findings, he said inhaled steroids are an effective form of treatment for asthma.
“We’re only talking about half of an inch of growth. Asthma is a very serious of disease. It leads to a lot of office visits, emergency room visits, hospitalizations. Even a severe attack can lead to death. The best medicines we have available are the inhaled steroids.”