Inhaling steroids stunts growth, but not much
CHICAGO, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Adults who took inhaled steroids as children to control their asthma may be shorter than they otherwise would have been, but only by a little, United States (US) researchers said on Monday.
Results of a long-term asthma study found that children who used an inhaled steroid before they entered puberty were about 1.27cm shorter as adults than those who did not take the drugs.
Doctors have known since the 1990s that inhaled steroids taken for asthma can delay growth, but researchers had believed these children would eventually catch up. "This is mostly good news," said Dr Gail Weinmann of National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a part of the National Institutes of Health, which supported the study.
Dr Weinmann said the drug has been proven over and over to be the most effective for the most people, but there had been this lingering question about its effect on height. "Now we know what it is. It is a half an inch," she said in a telephone interview.