New NEJM Study on Asthma Medication Reinforces Best Practice of Low-dose Treatment

Statement of Norman H. Edelman, M.D., chief medical officer of the American Lung Association

Washington, D.C. (September 4, 2012)

According to “Effect of Inhaled Glucocorticoids in Childhood on Adult Height,” a new study recently published in The New England Journal of Medicine, children who use glucocorticoid inhalers to prevent asthma attacks may be on average one half-inch shorter as adults.  Norman H. Edelman, M.D., chief medical officer of the American Lung Association, released the following statement:

“The findings of this study highlight important information impacting the treatment of people with asthma.  Pediatricians should recognize the value of inhaled steroids in the control of asthma, but be mindful to continually adjust the dose to the lowest dose that is effective in controlling the symptoms and exacerbations of asthma in each patient.

“Past research by the American Lung Association Asthma Clinical Research Centers (ACRC) Network has shown that an effective approach to controlling asthma symptoms and exacerbations is to treat patients with the lowest effective dose of inhaled steroids.

“Asthma patients should continue to take their prescribed medicine and contact their health care provider if they have any questions or concerns regarding their asthma medication.”

Editor’s Note: For more information and resources from the American Lung Association regarding asthma, visit www.lung.org/asthma.

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