Growth and bone density in children with mild-moderate asthma: a cross-sectional study in children entering the Childhood Asthma Management Program (CAMP)

J Pediatr. 2003 Mar;142(3):286-91. doi: 10.1067/mpd.2003.86.


Objectives: We sought to determine whether mild-moderate persistent asthma sufficient to produce a decrease in baseline lung function is associated with an adverse effect on growth and bone mineral density (BMD) in children.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of 1041 children, 5 to 12 years old (32% ethnic/racial minorities and 40% female), enrolled into the Childhood Asthma Management Program (CAMP). Measures of asthma severity included: Spirometry; bronchial hyperresponsiveness; duration of asthma symptoms; and symptom-based assessment of severity. Multiple regression analyses were used to relate the asthma severity on the primary outcome variables: Height by stadiometry and BMD by dual energy radiographic absorptiometry.

Results: The mean +/- SD height percentile was 56.0 +/- 28.5 percentile for the population. The only significant relationship between asthma severity and height percentile was with methacholine bronchoprovocation in girls (beta 2.98, P =.019, covariate multiple regression). The mean +/- SD BMD was 0.65 +/- 0.10 g/cm(2) for the population. The past use of corticosteroids did not adversely affect either growth or BMD.

Conclusions: We found that mild-moderate asthma of as long as 4 to 7 years duration in children does not produce an adverse effect on linear growth or BMD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / drug therapy
  • Asthma / physiopathology*
  • Bone Density*
  • Bone Development*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Vital Capacity


  • Glucocorticoids