In two separate studies steroids were shown to be harmful for each of two separate age groups even though these drugs are common treatments. From the October 23rd issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine comes the first report that states, “that men and women older than 60 who take corticosteroids for longer than 6 months are at greatly increased risk of deformities of the bones in the spine.” This report was based on a study of 229 patients who had taken corticosteroids for longer than 6 months and was compared with 286 people the same age who did not take the drugs. The results showed that 28% of the corticosteroid-treated patients had at least one deformity of the vertebrae in the spine.
The second study on steroids was on their usage in children for asthma and related problems. This study was published in the October 12, 2000 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. In that article it was stated that studies showed that long-term administration of systemic corticosteroids is a cause of impaired growth in children. The study showed that children treated with inhaled corticosteroids had less growth in height (1 to 1.6 cm [23 to 27 percent] less) than those assigned to other treatments. One of the concerns of the study was that they were unable to predict if this change in growth rate of the skeletal system was also accompanied by a change in organ system growth, including the brain. The authors urge caution.
The NEJM article did not mention or take into account the studies showing the benefits of chiropractic for children with asthma. Such studies concerning chiropractic included a 1996 study published by the Michigan Chiropractic Council and one from the Alberta Childrens Hospital in Calgary, Canada.