Study: Long-term side effects from childhood asthma treatment

Kristi King,

WASHINGTON – Children given steroids to treat asthma can have a life-long side effects, a new study finds.

The study found the steroids could stunt a child’s growth by about a half inch.

The lead author of the study says “It’s better to breath than to have the extra half inch.”

“When you’re talking about a young man who’s six foot, you can’t even notice it,” says pediatrician Robert Strunk of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

The study involved more than a thousand children being treated for mild to moderate asthma.

The growth slowdown detected in the study was observed during the first two years asthmatic children, ages 5 to 11 years old, took inhaled corticosteroids.

Followed into adulthood, 25-26 years old, the children never made up for that loss.

Strunk says there were no other side effects.

The study currently online in the New England Journal of Medicine will be published in print Sept. 6.

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