AchooAllergy.com Blog
Most Asthmatic Children Suffer Unnecessarily
Posted by Craig on Tuesday, March 20, 2007
eMaxHealth reports that, according to a study in the Journal of Ambulatory Pediatrics, only 20 percent of children with persistent asthma have a level of control that is optimal.

"That leaves almost 80 percent who are suffering more than they need to," says 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."

The study showed that 37 percent of children with persistent asthma receive no preventive medication - and of the children who did receive medication, 43 percent still had poor symptom control.

"This second group – the children who were experiencing poor symptom control despite the use of preventive medications – has received relatively little attention until now," Halterman says.

Halterman found that reasons for the poor symptom control include inconsistent use of the medication, exposure to environmental triggers like mold or pet dander, or simply not receiving adequate education about asthma.

"The bottom line is that there's much work that needs to be done in making sure that children with asthma receive appropriate and effective care; it's more complex than one might think," Halterman says. "Asthma care involves coordination on everyone's part. Parents and patients need to report and track symptoms, relay this information to their doctor, use medications as prescribed, and steer clear of triggers. Physicians need to recognize persistent symptoms in their patients, and take time to prescribe, educate and draw up unique action plan for each patient's management."

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