Steroids are an important component in treating asthma. Steroids is a double edged sword and doctors weigh the cost versus benefit ratio before prescribing them, especially in children. A recent study conducted on more than 12000 Finnish infants has revealed that infants who inhaled corticosteroids showed signs of stunted growth.
A recent study has revealed that young kids who were given inhaled corticosteroids before reaching the age of two did not grow to their full height later on in their life. Earlier also a similar study had revealed a link between inhaled corticosteroids and growth suppression.
The latest study once again is a wake-up call for steroid use in pre-school children. However the use of inhaled corticosteroids is an important tool in controlling Asthma. This fact has been highlighted in a statement issued by Asthma UK which said that inhaled corticosteroids are an important addendum in controlling asthma symptoms and reducing trips to hospital for young infants.
The findings were placed before the European Society for Pediatric Endocrinology conference. Asthma is widespread with one in 11 children suffers from the symptoms of the disease.
Corticosteroids are a mainstay in treatment of asthma. However oral corticosteroids have high side effects. This has been considerably reduced with the use of inhaled corticosteroids. The latest stipulation to all General Practitioners while using steroids for treating asthma requires the height and weight checked every year for any signs of reduced growth.
The study was conducted under the leadership of Dr Antti Saari, from the University of Eastern Finland. The study envisaged an analysis of data on the height of the children’s parents, children’s weight and asthma medicine, to deduce expected height and growth. The study revealed that there was a decrease of around 3 cm in adult height.
The findings underline the importance of using these medicines in infants appropriately.