Asthma can lead to lung-function loss

Jan. 20, 2011 at 6:03 PM

ATLANTA, Calif., Jan. 20 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers caution severe asthma in children may lead to premature lung-function loss.

Researchers at Atlanta's Emory University School of Medicine found airflow limitation changes in children with severe asthma -- despite higher doses of inhaled corticosteroids and controller medication. These children showed significantly lower lung function versus children with mild-to-moderate asthma.

The study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology also found daily asthma symptoms of coughing, wheezing and sensitization to aero-allergens noted during the initial evaluation predicted lung declines of greater than 1 percent per year.

"Severe asthma in children is a challenging disorder," Anne Fitzpatrick said in a statement. "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."

Fitzpatrick and colleagues evaluated children ages 8-11 with mild-to-moderate and severe asthma enrolled in the long-term National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Severe Asthma Research Program.

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