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Asthma inhalers might stunt children's growth

Posted by Sally O'Brien, on 18/07/2014. Asthma inhalers might stunt children's growthTags: Parenting Family And Leisure

Children who use asthma inhalers are on average one inch shorter than their peers.

With Ireland one of the highest incidences of asthmas in the world, with more than 300,000 using inhalers, a new report has confirmed previous fears that asthma can stunt children’s growth.

Reported in worldwide media today, Brazilian scientists and researchers concluded after reviewing trial data on over 9000 children under 18yrs that corticosteroid inhalers, the most popular type of inhaler, is causing a slight loss of growth.

Lead author Dr Linjie Zhang, from the Federal University of Rio Grande in Brazil, said: "The evidence we reviewed suggests that children treated daily with inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) may grow approximately half a centimetre less during the first year of treatment.”

He also added that these effects per less pronounced if the children begun using inhalers in later years. The researchers warned that this side effect did not outweigh the benefits of using an inhaler which saves millions of lives around the world every year, and is a ‘small price to pay’.

Corticosteroids are the most commonly prescribed and are known to reduce deaths, hospital visits and improve patients quality of life.

For more on the side effects of asthma inhalers please see


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