Inhaled Steroid Found to Stunt Growth

Lynchburg, VA - About 7 million of us suffer from asthma here in the U.S.{} Allergist Joseph Lane treats his share in the Lynchburg area.

"Asthma is the most common chronic diseases in childhood," Lane said.

One of the best ways to treat asthma is with an inhaled steroid. While effective, those inhalers found in a previous study to slow growth in children during the first years they used it.

Now there's even more proof.

"A follow up study recently done and published in the New England Journal a couple of weeks ago indicated where they followed these kids out until a mean age of 25 years old, that their vertical height, their final adult height was about a centimeter less than those kids treated with a placebo," Lane explained.

But before you panic, Lane said that half an inch certainly is not a good reason to stop treatment.

"It's important to realize that every day about 10 people die in this country from asthma. We had a death in our area last year," Lane said. "It's very important not to stop any asthma medication without checking with your child's doctor first."

Doctors can work with you to reduce the dose of the steroid as much as possible to minimize the effects.

Lane said many allergists are moving more towards an on demand use instead of a daily use of inhaled steroids to treat asthma.