ATS: Asthma Control in Kids May Not Follow Consistent Inhaler Use

May 24, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO -- Some children, even if they have only mild to moderate asthma, may not get full symptom control despite consistent inhaled corticosteroid use, researchers have found.

SAN FRANCISCO, May 24 -- Some children, even if they have only mild to moderate asthma, may not get full symptom control despite consistent inhaled corticosteroid use, researchers have found.

Children who used inhaled steroids consistently over one year were 60% less likely to report well-controlled asthma than nonusers even when controlling for asthma severity, said Gregory S. Sawicki M.D., of Children's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues.

"Clearly there is a subset who are on medication who are having continued symptoms," Dr. Sawicki said at the American Thoracic Society meeting here. "They are likely the children who will go on to develop worse symptoms as adults."

Genetic differences may account for these children's inability to achieve control even with appropriate, guidelines-recommended inhaled corticosteroids use, he speculated.

The findings came from the four-year observational continuation phase of the Childhood Asthma Management Program (CAMP).

The continuation study included 941 of the original 1,041 children with mild to moderate asthma who had been treated with inhaled corticosteroids during CAMP.

At the end of the study, an asthma treatment recommendation was made for each child and asthma care was transferred to the primary care physician. Outcomes were followed with biannual office visits and phone calls.