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Repeated preschool wheeze may set the stage for long-term damage in lung function
Date:5/7/2014

rom lack of long-term therapy

These data track the natural evolution of the asthma, as today's ill adults were the preschoolers 20 to 40 years ago: at that time, few effective treatments were available. "Our study shows that the most effective treatment of young children is the long-term use of low doses of inhaled corticosteroids. However, it is alarming to see that few young children are currently receiving over the long term, this treatment that has been known to be effective. So even today, these children are at risk of long-term damage to their lung," says Dr. Ducharme.

The importance of diagnosis

In many cases, asthmatic children are wrongly diagnosed as having bronchitis or pneumonia. "This is why it's essential to correctly diagnose the causes of childhood wheezing," Dre Sze Man Tse says. "In other cases, due to a lack of information, doctors hesitate to prescribe long-term treatment, and parents hesitate to administer it. If these children were treated daily with inhaled corticosteroids, they would avoid repeated ER visits and their quality of life would be improved, as would their whole family's." It is not yet known if the treatment prevents long-term damage.

A public health priority

Genetic factors, colds, exposure to tobacco and very early childhood rapid weight gain are known risk factors for repeated wheezing. "Early intervention to reduce medium and long-term lung damage resulting from preschool wheezing should be a public health priority," says Dre Ducharme. "Knowing that 48% of preschool children will wheeze at least once before the age of 6 years, and that a large proportion of them are improperly diagnosed or do not receive the inhaled corticosteroid whose effectiveness is well beyond any scientific doubt, we see in turn the great, needless expense for the health system and the risk of life-long, irreversible damage to these children."

Long-term preventative effect

CHU Sainte-Justine Hosp
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Contact: William Raillant-Clark
rw.raillantclark@gmail.com
514-566-3813
University of Montreal
Source:Eurekalert

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