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Review: inhaled corticosteroids reduce wheezing and asthma exacerbations in infants and preschool childrenCommentary

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Question

Do inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) reduce wheezing/asthma exacerbations (WAEs) in infants and preschool children with a previous diagnosis of wheezing or asthma?

Review scope

Included studies were randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of ⩾4 weeks of treatment that compared an ICS with placebo in infants and children ⩽5 years of age with a diagnosis of wheezing or asthma for ⩾6 months before study entry. Outcomes were WAEs (worsening symptoms that required systemic corticosteroids), withdrawal from study due to WAEs, change in symptom score, change in salbutamol(albuterol) use, and change in pulmonary function (FEV1 and peak expiratory flow [PEF]).

Review methods

Medline, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (all to Mar or second quarter 2008) were searched for RCTs. 29 RCTs {n = 3992, mean age 40 mo}* …

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