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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1995 Jun;151(6):1715-9.

Growth of prepubertal children with mild asthma treated with inhaled beclomethasone dipropionate.

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Southampton General Hospital, United Kingdom.


Poorly controlled severe asthma can lead to growth impairment in childhood. In children with mild asthma, it is less clear whether treatment influences growth or adrenal function. We determined in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, community-based study, the effect of inhaled beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP) 400 micrograms/day for 7 mo on the linear growth and adrenal function of 94 children 7 to 9 yr of age. Height was measured at least monthly during treatment, and adrenal function assessed by overnight urinary cortisol at baseline and after 3 and 6 mo of treatment. Mean regressed daily growth was significantly decreased during the treatment period in the BDP-treated group, 0.79 versus 1.14 mm/wk (difference 0.35 mm/wk; 95% CI -0.46 to -0.25; p < 0.0001). At the end of the 7 mo, the BDP-treated children had grown significantly less than the children on placebo: mean of 2.66 versus 3.66 cm (difference 1.0 cm; 95% CI -1.36 to -0.64 cm; p < 0.0001). Growth was significantly decreased in both males and females. During a washout period of 4 mo, there was no significant catch-up growth. BDP had no effect on overnight urinary cortisol production. BDP at a dose taken by many children significantly decreases statural growth in children with mild asthma, and this effect is unlikely to be mediated through the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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