Asthmatic children still not breathing easier

2007-03-15 08:53

Only 20 percent of children with persistent asthma have a level of control that is optimal, according to a survey-based study published today in the journal of Ambulatory Pediatrics.

"That leaves almost 80 percent who are suffering more than they need to," said the study's lead author, Jill Halterman, M.D., M.P.H., Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong. "They may be experiencing unnecessary symptoms, missed school days, and restrictions on activity. That's a problem."

Halterman said the survey results are striking because, in contrast, current therapies are very effective. In fact, according to reports issued by the National Institutes of Health, if used consistently and in conjunction with action plans and avoidance of environmental triggers, the therapies should ideally make it possible for children to experience no symptoms of asthma, no limitation in function and no serious exacerbations.

"That's a lofty goal to dangle before patients," Halterman said. "We wanted a closer look into why so many children weren't reaping the benefits of today's therapeutic advances."

Current guidelines recommend that all children with persistent asthma

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