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Alternative therapies may leave asthmatics gasping
Date:11/30/2010

This release is available in French.

Montreal, November 30, 2010 Approximately 13 percent of parents turn to alternative therapies to treat their children's asthma, according to a new study from the Universit de Montral. 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.

"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 Universit de Montral 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 relationsh
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Contact: Julie Gazaille
j.cordeau-gazaille@umontreal.ca
514-343-6796
University of Montreal
Source:Eurekalert

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