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Easing Kids' Breathing Before Asthma

Study: Inhaled Steroids Cut Asthma-Like Symptoms During Treatment

Height Difference?

During the two-year treatment period, all of the kids grew taller. But there was a slight difference in height gain between the two groups.

The average height increase after 24 months of treatment was about four-tenths of an inch (1.1 centimeters) less for kids in the Flovent group, compared with the placebo group.

By the end of the observation year, the groups' difference in average height increase had narrowed to less than three-tenths of an inch (0.7 centimeters).

"It remains to be determined whether height will become similar in the two groups as the cohort matures, in a manner similar to that observed in older children," Guilbert's team writes.

In the journal, Guilbert and several of the other researchers report ties to various drug companies, including GlaxoSmithKline, which supplied the study's Flovent and placebo. GlaxoSmithKline is also a WebMD sponsor. The study was funded by grants from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a branch of the National Institutes of Health.

Second Opinion

The journal also contains an editorial by Diane Gold, MD, MPH, and Anne Fuhlbrigge, MD. They work at Harvard Medical School and Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Gold and Fuhlbrigge write that "the study by Guilbert et al. strengthens the evidence that treatment with inhaled corticosteroids in early life does not alter the natural history of asthma."

However, the editorialists also note that Guilbert's study "offers strong evidence supporting the use of twice-daily inhaled corticosteroids" to control asthma-like symptoms in certain high-risk children.

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