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Early childhood wheezers: identifying asthma in later life

Authors Lasso-Pirot A, Delgado-Villalta S, Spanier A

Received 18 March 2015

Accepted for publication 21 May 2015

Published 13 July 2015 Volume 2015:8 Pages 63—73


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Amrita Dosanjh

Anayansi Lasso-Pirot, Silvia Delgado-Villalta, Adam J Spanier

Department of Pediatrics, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

Abstract: Wheeze in young children is common, and asthma is the most common non-communicable disease in children. Prevalence studies of recurrent asthma-like symptoms in children under the age of 5 years have reported that one third of children in the US and Europe are affected, and rates and severity appear to be higher in developing countries. Over the last few decades, significant research efforts have focused on identification of risk factors and predictors of wheeze and on tools to identify which children who wheeze will progress to develop asthma. We reviewed the phenotypes of childhood wheezing, genetic risk factors, environmental factors, testing/predictive indices, and primary prevention. While it is generally agreed that a complex interaction of environmental exposure and genetic susceptibility contributes to the development of asthma, limitations in predictive tools and tests restrict our ability to provide families with guidance as to whether their child with wheeze will ultimately develop asthma. Additional research is needed to clarify childhood wheeze phenotypes, to develop tools to determine which children will develop asthma, and to determine how and when to intervene. If these areas can be addressed, it would help reduce this large burden on children, families, and society.

Keywords: asthma, child, wheeze

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