Periodic Use of Inhaled Steroids in Children With Mild Persistent Asthma: What Are Pediatricians Recommending?

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Although asthma treatment guidelines recommend daily inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) use for all persistent asthma, pediatricians may recommend alternative treatment plans for children with mild persistent disease. The authors administered a survey of pediatricians to describe prescribing patterns for mild persistent asthma. More than 99% of providers agreed that periodic ICS could be effective for some asthma patients. Overall, 129/251 providers (51%) reported prescribing daily ICS to most patients with mild persistent asthma, whereas 78 (31%) reported recommending periodic ICS for most such patients. Providers with patient populations ≥ 25% black were significantly less likely to report prescribing daily ICS (odds ratio, 0.3; 95% confidence interval, 0.2–0.6) for mild persistent asthma. Further research is needed on the effectiveness of periodic ICS use for children with mild persistent asthma and on underlying reasons for differing provider practice patterns.

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