Objective: To determine whether inhaled fluticasone propionate has long-term effects on growth in children with persistent asthma.
Study design: In a double-blind, randomized, parallel-group, multicenter study, 325 prepubescent children with persistent asthma and normal growth rates were treated with placebo or inhaled fluticasone propionate powder 50 microg or 100 microg administered twice daily by a breath-actuated device for 1 year. Growth was evaluated monthly, whereas other safety variables and pulmonary function were evaluated periodically.
Results: The prepubescent patients showed no statistically significant differences in mean height, mean growth velocity, or mean skeletal age between any of the treatment groups at any time. Over a period of 1 year, mean height (+/- SE) increased 6.15 +/- 0.17 cm in the placebo group, 5.94 +/- 0.16 cm in the fluticasone propionate 50 microg group, and 5.73 +/- 0.13 cm in the fluticasone propionate 100 microg group (p = 0.308, overall).
Conclusions: Prepubescent children treated with fluticasone propionate 50 microg and 100 microg administered twice daily for 1 year grew at rates similar to placebo-treated control subjects and at rates equal to expected growth velocity for age.