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Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2000 Nov;56(8):591-6.

Corticosteroid therapy and need for hospital care in wheezing preschool children.

Author information

1
University of Tampere, Medical School, P.O. Box 607, FIN-33101 Tampere, Finland. peter.csonka@uta.fi

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To study the frequency of corticosteroid therapy and the use of inpatient care for preschool children with wheezing in two regions in Finland.

METHODS:

The Finnish Social Insurance Institution database on refundable asthma medication indicated that 1.18% of children in Tampere and 2.37% in Turku used inhaled corticosteroids regularly. To clarify the difference, hospital records of 800 randomly chosen 0.5-6.9-year-old children who had been treated for wheezing in Tampere or Turku University Hospital during 1995-1996 were retrospectively analysed.

RESULTS:

The incidences of wheezing-related emergency room (ER) index visits were 11.0 visits/year/1000 children both in Tampere and Turku. Oral corticosteroids were given to 2.5% versus 24.2% of children in ER and 10.6% versus 89.7% in hospital ward in Tampere and Turku, respectively. Hospitalisation rates were 44.8% in Tampere and 36.8% in Turku (95% confidence interval for the difference 1.2-14.8%). In both regions, children with prior inhaled corticosteroid therapy needed less inpatient care. Mean duration of hospitalisation was 3.4 days in Tampere and only 1.4 days in Turku. Recurrent visits in 6 months were more common in Tampere.

CONCLUSIONS:

There were marked regional differences in the management of preschool children with wheezing. On a population level, frequent use of corticosteroid therapy was associated with reduced hospital admissions.

PMID:
11151750
DOI:
10.1007/s002280000199
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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