(Effect of asthma and its treatment on growth: four year follow up of cohort of children from general practices in Tayside, Scotland)
Some studies have shown that children with asthma have impaired growth, but many of these have not allowed for socioeconomic influences on growth. In a General Practice paper in this week's BMJ, McCowan et al found that in a study of 2355 children in Tayside, Scotland, most children with asthma were of normal height and weight and had normal growth rates. However, the authors identified children using high dose steroid inhalers as an exception to this finding, as this group showed a significant reduction in their stature. Children in this group were shorter and lighter than their contemporaries, but social deprivation seemed to be the dominant influence.
Mr C McCowan, Project Officer, National Asthma Campaign, Tayside Centre for General Practice, University of Dundee, Scotland