The Young Are Missing Out on Asthma Drugs

Published Online: Friday, August 1, 2003

Prescription drugs to control the increasing rate of asthma in children and young adults are being underutilized, according to results of a study presented recently at the Pediatric Academic Societies conference.

Researchers from the University of Michigan examined the records of 19,000 people, aged 5 to 21. They looked at whether the patients had prescriptions for 1 or more of a number of medications, including inhalers used when attacks are imminent or under way and longer-term drugs to reduce the likelihood of attacks. The researchers found that 16% of the patients had no prescriptions for short-acting medications and that 9% had no asthma medications at all. Also, those who had no prescriptions went to emergency rooms 30% more often, compared with those who had prescriptions.

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