Childhood asthma and growth outcome.
To study the ultimate growth variables of children with asthma we analysed the military medical records of 54,041 boys and 38,102 girls at the age of 17 years. History of asthma was found in 2252 boys and 1158 girls, who were then categorised according to three grades of severity. Analysis of their growth was made separately for each sex and for each grade of severity of clinical disease. Boys who suffered from mild asthma that subsided before adolescence were significantly taller, heavier, and fatter than their respective controls. There was a slight decrement in all three growth variables in correlation with increased severity. The most severely affected patients had retarded height and weight in comparison with the mildly affected children, but the differences were not significant. The same tendency was found in the girls. Children with asthma will ultimately reach normal height and weight. Those who are mildly affected tend to be even taller and heavier than adolescents without asthma. The severity of the asthma influences final growth.