3/25/2004

Taiwanese doctors looked at 146 school-age children who received dexamethasone at their premature birth as a treatment to prevent chronic lung disease, and they found eight years later that the children on the steroid were shorter, less coordinated and had lower IQ scores than their peers. The lead researcher said the long-term risks of the treatment outweigh the benefits, while two American doctors said doctors today use steroids as a last resort and use much smaller amounts than the Taiwanese babies received.

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