Severe asthma in early childhood may lead to premature loss of lung function during adolescence: Study

Severe asthma in early childhood may lead to premature loss of lung function during adolescence and more serious disease during adulthood, researchers at Emory University School of Medicine report. Early identification and treatment of children with severe asthma is important to help stem asthma progression.

The authors found that children with severe asthma reported a higher frequency of daily symptoms and hospitalization during the previous year despite higher doses of ICS and controller medication, and that they had significantly lower lung function when compared to children with mild-to-moderate asthma. Additionally, they noted that daily asthma symptoms such as coughing and wheezing and sensitization to aeroallergens during the initial evaluation were strong predictors of declines in lung function of more than one percent per year.

The authors conclude that children with severe asthma have a premature loss of lung function during the adolescent years that is associated with an increased frequency of wheezing and asthma symptoms and greater allergic sensitization during childhood. Further studies are needed to determine whether the loss of lung function is due to a slower rate of lung growth or to progressive changes in the lung tissues, and to explore the mechanisms that control the responses of severely asthmatic children to ICS treatment.

Source: Emory University

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