Keywords: serum magnesium levels, chronic asthma, severity, inhaled steroids, fluticasone propionate, oral steroids, childhood asthma, asthmatic children, corticosteroid treatment, asthma inhalers, methyl prednisolone, magnesium supplements
Magnesium level in chronic asthmatic children – effect of corticosteroid treatment
Hypomagnesaemia is suggested to be associated with increased incidence of wheeze, airway hyperreactivity and impairment of lung functions. We aimed to assess the serum magnesium level in asthmatic children and evaluate the effect of corticosteroid treatment on it. The study included 89 chronic asthmatic children aged 5-15 years receiving inhaled fluticasone propionate and short courses of oral methyl prednisolone during exacerbation. About 12 of them stopped steroid treatment three months before inclusion in the study. About 27 healthy children served as controls. Serum magnesium was significantly lower in asthmatics receiving steroid compared to controls and to those not receiving steroid. No significant difference was found between asthmatics not receiving steroid and controls. A significant negative correlation was found between serum magnesium and frequency of oral corticosteroid. Thus, use of corticosteroid in asthmatics reduces magnesium level with recovery to normal after steroid cessation. Magnesium supplementation is recommended to those receiving steroid.