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Corticosteroid Use May Shorten Children's Hospital Stays

Readmission rates higher in children not receiving both corticosteroids and β-agonists

TUESDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- The use of adjunct corticosteroids in children hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is associated with shortened lengths of stay (LOS) in the hospital, especially those patients who receive concomitant β-agonist therapy, according to a study published online Jan. 10 in Pediatrics.

Anna K. Weiss, M.D., from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and colleagues studied the data of 20,703 patients aged 1 to 18 with CAP. The researchers used three outcome measures (LOS, readmission, and total cost of hospitalization) to determine if the use of systemic corticosteroid therapy is associated with improved outcomes.

The researchers found that patients who received both systemic corticosteroid therapy and β-agonist therapy had shorter hospital LOS. However, they found that patients who received corticosteroid therapy without β-agonist therapy had longer hospital LOS than those who received neither. They also found that corticosteroids were associated with readmission in those patients who did not also receive concomitant β-agonist therapy.

"We found that adjunct systemic corticosteroids were associated with shorter hospital LOS overall, with particular benefit among those patients who also received concomitant β-agonist therapy," the authors write.

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