In this retrospective study, adult height was assessed in young adult asthmatics who were treated with inhaled corticosteroids (ICs) during childhood (n = 42; 26 boys) and compared to those obtained in asthmatic patients who were never treated with ICs during childhood (n = 43; 23 boys). Standing height of all subjects and their parents was measured. Height data were analyzed using actual length and target height in centimeters, standard deviation scores (SDS), and difference between adult height of the patients and their target height (adult height minus target height). Mean adult height was the same in subjects who took ICs during childhood as compared to those who had never received ICs (boys: 179.3cm+/-6.8 vs. 180.4 cm+/-5.6; girls: 165.8 cm+/-7.5 vs. 167.7 cm+/-7.2). SDS of adult height was also not different between the two groups: in subjects who did not take ICs it was 0.89+/-1.00, while in those who took ICs it was 0.66+/-1.10 (P = 0.31). SDS of target height was also not different between the two groups: in subjects not taking ICs it was 0.95+/-0.86, while in those who took ICs it was 0.28+/-0.76 (P = 0.30). However, subjects who took ICs during childhood showed a statistically significant lower value of adult height minus target height than those who never took ICs (whole group: -0.003+/-5.9 vs. 2.54 +/-4.8, P = 0.03 ; boys: 0.004+/-5.8 vs. 3.09+/-4.5, P = 0.04 ; girls: -0.075+/-6.3 vs. 1.91+/-5.2, P = 0.31). Patients on ICs during childhood who had ever been hospitalized for asthma showed a lower value for adult height minus target height than those who took ICs but were never hospitalized (-3.08+/-7.8 vs. 1.06+/-4.8, P = 0.046). A logistic regression analysis predicting growth impairment showed that the best-fitting model was one that used only ICs as a dependent variable (crude odds ratio, 3.3; 95% CI, 1.3-8.4). Patients who were treated with ICs in combination with intranasal corticosteroids (treatment for rhinitis) tended to have a lower value of adult height minus target height than the other children, but the difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.07). We conclude that although adult height was the same in young adults who were treated with ICs during childhood compared to those who were not treated with ICs during childhood, there was a statistically significant difference between the two groups for adult height minus target height, suggesting mild growth retardation in patients who took ICs during childhood. These findings may be explained by the use of ICs, but it seems more likely that a difference in asthma severity between both groups was responsible for it.