Little Risk to Offspring From Maternal Inhaled Steroids

But may be associated with increased risk of endocrine/metabolic disorders

TUESDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- In pregnant women with asthma, the use of inhaled glucocorticoids does not increase the risk of most pediatric diseases in the offspring, though it may be a risk factor for endocrine and metabolic disorders, according to research published online Dec. 16 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Marion Tegethoff, Ph.D., of the University of Basel in Switzerland, and colleagues analyzed prospective data from 4,083 mother-child pairs (births between 1996 and 2002) in the Danish National Birth Cohort. Logistical regression analyses for each ICD-10 diagnosis category were used to estimate associations between prenatal use of inhaled glucocorticoids for asthma (1231/4083) and childhood diseases in the offspring (median age at end of follow-up, 6.1 years).

According to the researchers, inhaled glucocorticoid use for asthma during pregnancy was not associated with increases in risk for most childhood diseases, except metabolic and endocrine disorders (hazard ratio, 1.84). The analysis was repeated for the subgroup that only used budesonide (79.9 percent of treatment subgroup) and similar results were found.

"Regarding most disease categories, data are reassuring, supporting the use of inhaled glucocorticoids during pregnancy. In line with animal data, glucocorticoid inhalation during pregnancy may be a risk factor for offspring endocrine and metabolic disturbances, which should be considered further," the authors write.

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