Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Alternative therapies may leave asthmatics gasping, study suggests

Date:
November 30, 2010
Source:
University of Montreal
Summary:
Approximately 13 percent of parents turn to alternative therapies to treat their children's asthma, according to a new study. The findings suggest that this trend is associated with a two-fold higher rate of poor asthma control in children.

Approximately 13 percent of parents turn to alternative therapies to treat their children's asthma, according to a new study from the Université de Montréal. The findings, published recently in the Canadian Respiratory Journal, suggest that this trend is associated with a two-fold higher rate of poor asthma control in children.

Related Articles


"Previous studies have shown that close to 60 percent of parents believe that complementary and alternative medicines are helpful," says seniour author Francine M. Ducharme, a Université de Montréal professor and pediatrician and researcher at the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Center. "Yet, well designed studies have failed to show any evidence that therapies such as acupuncture, homeophathy, chiropractic medicine or herbal therapy are effective in asthma. Parents may not be aware of the risk associated with the use of alternative medicine, including adverse reactions, possible interactions with conventional asthma therapy, as well as delay in taking, and compliance with, effective asthma therapy. Our findings confirm that children using complimentary or alternative medicine, are twice as likely to have poor asthma control that those that don't. "

More than 2000 children assessed

Questionnaires were completed by more than 2000 families who came to the Asthma Centre at the Montreal Children's Hospital for an initial visit. Parents were asked if they used any form of alternative medicine to help alleviate their children's asthma and to specify which type. Health information, patient demographics, asthma severity and control were then compiled.

The findings showed that over eight years, the use of alternative therapy remained stable around 13 percent, a five-fold lower rate than in the United States. There was a relationship between alternative and complementary medicine use, and pre-school age, Asian ethnicity, episodic asthma, and poor asthma control. The most commonly reported alternative therapies included supplemental vitamins, homeopathy and acupuncture.

"Most of the children receiving these therapies were younger than six," says Ducharme. "This is particularly troublesome, given that there is no evidence that these therapies are effective and preschool aged children suffer more asthma flare-ups requiring an emergency department visit than all other age groups. Our study may serve as a reminder to parents that alternative and complementary medicine has not been proven effective in asthma and that it may interfere with effective conventional therapy: they should first discuss its use with their physicians. It should also serve as reminder to health care professionals to inquire about alternative therapy use, particularly if asthma is not well controlled, and initiate appropriate counselling."

About asthma

The diagnosis of asthma, which is a chronic inflammatory disease of the lungs, has been significantly on the rise over the last few decades. In 2009 asthma caused approximately 250,000 deaths globally. However, with proper treatment, including the administration of inhaled bronchodilators and corticosteroids, all children can lead a normal life.

Symptoms include cough, wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. These symptoms are also reduce by avoiding triggers, such as allergens and irritants.

This study was funded by the scholarship from the American Pediatric Society/Society for Pediatric Research and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (USA).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Montreal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. V Torres-Llenza, S Bhogal, M Davis, FM Ducharme. Use of complementary and alternative medicine in children with asthma. Canadian Respiratory Journal, July/August 2010, Volume 17 Issue 4: 183-187 [link]

Cite This Page:

University of Montreal. "Alternative therapies may leave asthmatics gasping, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101130111322.htm>.
University of Montreal. (2010, November 30). Alternative therapies may leave asthmatics gasping, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101130111322.htm
University of Montreal. "Alternative therapies may leave asthmatics gasping, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101130111322.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins