(HealthDay News) — For children with persistent asthma, use of inhaled corticosteroids is associated with a significant reduction in linear growth velocity, with lower growth velocity for those receiving a higher dose of inhaled corticosteroids, according to two reviews published online in The Cochrane Library.

Linjie Zhang, MD, PhD, from the Federal University of Rio Grande in Brazil, and colleagues examined the impact of inhaled corticosteroids on the linear growth of children with persistent asthma. Twenty-five trials involving 8,471 children with mild to moderate persistent asthma were included in the analyses. 

The researchers found that during a 1-year treatment period, inhaled corticosteroids correlated with a significant reduction in linear growth velocity and in the change from baseline in height, compared with placebo or non-steroidal drugs.

Aniela I. Pruteanu, MD, from the University of Montreal, and colleagues examined whether increasing the dose of inhaled corticosteroids correlated with slower linear growth, weight gain and skeletal maturation in children with persistent asthma. 

Of the 22 eligible trials, growth was measured in 17 group comparisons derived from 10 trials; 3,394 children with mild to moderate asthma were involved. 

The researchers observed a significant group difference indicating lower growth velocity in the higher vs. the lower inhaled corticosteroidss group in four comparisons reporting liner growth over 12 months. The magnitude of the effect was not affected by the inhaled corticosteroids used in these four comparisons.

“Findings support use of the minimal effective ICS dose in children with asthma,” Pruteanu and colleagues wrote.

One researcher from the Pruteanu study disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.


  1. Zhang et al. Cochrane Libr. 2014;doi:10.1002/14651858.CD009471.pub2.
  2. Pruteanu AI et al. Cochrane Libr. 2014;doi:10.1002/14651858.CD009878.pub2.