Variation in Preventive Care in Children Receiving Chronic Glucocorticoid Therapy.

Year of Publication


Date Published

2016 Sep 9

ISSN Number



<p><strong>OBJECTIVE: </strong>To assess preventive care measure prescribing in children exposed to glucocorticoids and identify prescribing variation according to subspecialty and patient characteristics.</p>

<p><strong>STUDY DESIGN: </strong>Retrospective cohort study of children initiating chronic glucocorticoids in the gastroenterology, nephrology, and rheumatology divisions at a pediatric tertiary care center. Outcomes included 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) and lipid testing, pneumococcal polysaccharide (PPV) and influenza vaccination, and stress dose hydrocortisone prescriptions.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>A total of 701 children were followed for a median of 589 days. 25OHD testing was performed in 73%, lipid screening in 29%, and PPV and influenza vaccination in 16% and 78%, respectively. Hydrocortisone was prescribed in 2%. Across specialties, 25OHD, lipid screening, and PPV prescribing varied significantly (all P &lt; .001). Using logistic regression adjusting for specialty, 25OHD testing was associated with older age, female sex, non-Hispanic ethnicity, and lower baseline height and body mass index z-scores (all P &lt; .03). Lipid screening was associated with older age, higher baseline body mass index z-score, and lower baseline height z-score (all P &lt; .01). Vaccinations were associated with lower age (P &lt; .02), and PPV completion was associated with non-White race (P = .04).</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>Among children chronically exposed to glucocorticoids, 25OHD testing and influenza vaccination were common, but lipid screening, pneumococcal vaccination, and stress dose hydrocortisone prescribing were infrequent. Except for influenza vaccination, preventive care measure use varied significantly across specialties. Quality improvement efforts are needed to optimize preventive care in this high-risk population.</p>



Alternate Title

J. Pediatr.




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