Local News
Eyewitness Sports
Medical Coverage
Call 12 For Action
Target 12 Investigators
What's On WPRI
What's On Fox
This Morning Weekend
2 Minute Test Drive
Experts Online
Online Store
Chopper 12
Station Info

 April 26, 2005
Corticosteroid Treatment Effective for Children's Asthma
Email to a Friend Printer Friendly Version  

By Amanda Gardner, HealthDay Reporter

SATURDAY, March 19 (HealthDay News) -- New studies are confirming the benefit of treating young asthmatic children with inhaled corticosteroids.

"It's not new information, but it backs up what we know," said allergy expert Dr. Clifford Bassett, a clinical assistant professor of medicine at the State University of New York. "It's viable as a long-term treatment." A pharmacological corticosteroid is a hormone similar to those produced by the adrenal cortex, such as cortisol and aldosterone. These hormones have been shown to be effective in in combatting asthma.

The studies were presented Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in San Antonio.

According to background information, the proportion of American children with asthma has grown from 3.6 percent to 6.2 percent. Children under the age of 5 have the highest rate of hospitalization from the disease.

"Asthma in young children results in significant morbidity," said Dr. Kevin Murphy, lead author of one of the studies and a clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. "It's the No. 1 chronic disease in children."

Murphy's study was a retrospective analysis of 11,407 children under 5 years old who had been diagnosed with asthma and were taking medication for their condition.

Those who were given inhaled corticosteroids first (before any other medication) had fewer emergency room visits than those who were prescribed the therapy first or second: 25 percent of the kids who got inhaled corticosteroids first had an emergency room visit or a hospital stay at least once during a year vs. 29 percent of those who had the drug prescribed second and 41 percent of those who had it prescribed third.

"The earlier you get it, the better," Murphy said. "This should encourage people to think about early intervention."

A second study looked at 1,974 children 5 to 10 years old who were randomized to receive either budesonide, an inhaled corticosteroid, once a day or a placebo. All the participants also took their regular asthma medications.

Use of budesonide earlier reduced the risk of an exacerbation by 40 percent. These children also had less of a need to use their other mediation (12 percent versus 23 percent).

"When we added budesonide, we saw a significant decrease in asthma," said Dr. Albert Sheffer, chairman of the study safety committee and a clinical professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Children taking budesonide, however, did have slowed growth, Sheffer added, but they caught up after five years.

The frequency of other side effects was similar in both groups.

More information

The American Lung Association (www.lungusa.org ) has more on asthma in children.

SOURCES: Kevin Murphy, M.D., clinical professor of pediatrics, University of Nebraska Medical Center Omaha; Albert Sheffer, M.D., clinical professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, director emeritus, Allergy Clinic, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston; Clifford Bassett, M.D., clinical assistant professor of medicine, State University of New York and clinical instructor, New York University School of Medicine, New York City; study abstracts

Copyright � 2005 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

Health News | Health Encyclopedia | Quizzes and Tools | Women's Health | Men's Health | Children's Health | Seniors' Health | Diet, Fitness and Self Image | Sex and Relationships

Health Encyclopedia: Asthma
Sleep Apnea Surgery
Pickwickian Syndrome
Laser-assisted Uvulopalatoplasty (for Sleep Apnea)
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Sleep Apnea
Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome
Asthma News
New Therapy Appears Effective Against Melanoma
U.S. Bans CFC Propellants in Asthma Inhalers
Study Confirms Effectiveness of Drug for Persistent Asthma
Scientists Take to the 'Airways' to Find New Asthma Treatments
Corticosteroid Treatment Effective for Children's Asthma
Health Tip: Asthma Plan for Kids
Surgical Procedure Helps Pope Breathe Easier
Two Anticonvulsant Drugs Raise Birth Defect Risk
Gene Variant Offers Asthma Protection
Health Fallout From Sept. 11 Attacks Continues
Send questions and comments about this website to the .
All content © Copyright 2003-2005 WorldNow, WPRI, WNAC and Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.