February 22, 2024

Research reveals risk factors for poor asthma control in children

A recent University of Alberta study is shedding more light on how perinatal health and early life events are related to asthma control in children.

“The problem is that if (childhood asthma) is not well controlled, it is a major driver of emergency hospital admissions and is within the top 10 causes of disability-adjusted life years lost among children,” says senior author Maria Ospina, adjunct professor in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry and associate professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at Queen’s University.

“The cost to the health-care system is also quite big,” Ospina adds. “If children do not have good asthma control, they also miss school days. So the earlier we can do things to control asthma, the better.”

Asthma is the most common childhood chronic disease, affecting up to 13 per cent of children in Canada, according to Statistics Canada. By age six, between 50 and 60 per cent of those who had preschool asthma no longer have symptoms, but even for them, their childhood asthma can have a lasting impact on their lung function as adults.

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