Asthmatic kids experience premature loss of lung function later in life

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Washington, Jan 19 (ANI): Researchers at Emory University School of Medicine have found that severe asthma in early childhood may lead to premature loss of lung function during adolescence and more serious disease during adulthood.

Anne M. Fitzpatrick, W. Gerald Teague and colleagues reported how airflow limitation changes throughout childhood and how this affects disease severity later in life.

"It is important for physicians to identify those children with severe asthma who are at risk for lung function decline. With early identification, physicians can customize treatment plans and educate families on lifestyle changes that may help children with severe asthma breathe easier as they grow older," said Fitzpatrick.

The authors used data from children with mild-to-moderate and severe asthma who were enrolled in a long-term National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Severe Asthma Research Program.

Comparing measurements of symptoms, medication use and lung function, the researchers analyzed changes in the children's respiratory health over an average three-year period.

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.

The authors concluded 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.

The findings were published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. (ANI)

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