Risk of pneumonia in asthmatic children using inhaled corticosteroids: A nested case-control study in a birth cohort

Pragya Shrestha, Chung Il Wi, Hongfang Liu, Katherine S. King, Euijung Ryu, Jung Hyun Kwon, Sunghwan Sohn, Miguel Park, Young Juhn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) are important in asthma management, but there are concerns regarding associated risk of pneumonia. While studies in asthmatic adults have shown inconsistent results, this risk in asthmatic children is unclear. Objective Our aim was to determine the association of ICS use with pneumonia risk in asthmatic children. Methods A nested case-control study was performed in the Mayo Clinic Birth Cohort. Asthmatic children (<18 years) with a physician diagnosis of asthma were identified from electronic medical records of children born at Mayo Clinic from 1997 to 2016 and followed until 31 December 2017. Pneumonia cases defined by Infectious Disease Society of America were 1:1 matched with controls without pneumonia by age, sex and asthma index date. Exposure was defined as ICS prescription at least 90 days prior to pneumonia. Associations of ICS use, type and dose (low, medium and high) with pneumonia risk were analysed using conditional logistic regression. Results Of the 2108 asthmatic children eligible for the study (70% mild intermittent and 30% persistent asthma), 312 children developed pneumonia during the study period. ICS use overall was not associated with risk of pneumonia (adjusted OR: 0.94, 95% CI: 0.62 to 1.41). Poorly controlled asthma was significantly associated with the risk of pneumonia (OR: 2.03, 95% CI: 1.35 to 3.05; p<0.001). No ICS type or dose was associated with risk of pneumonia. Conclusion ICS use in asthmatic children was not associated with risk of pneumonia but poorly controlled asthma was. Future asthma studies may need to include pneumonia as a potential outcome of asthma management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere
JournalBMJ open
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 10 2022


  • asthma
  • clinical pharmacology
  • community child health
  • epidemiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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