A recent study published in 2010 assessed a group of over 900 children with mild to moderate asthma and monitored them during a 4-year treatment period followed by a 4-year observational period. The study then assessed the children for signs that they outgrew their asthma. Over half of the children (55%) continued to have frequent episodes of asthma symptoms, over a third (39%) had occasional episodes of asthma, and only 6% showed no signs of asthma.
The study then looked at the small percentage of children that appeared to outgrow their asthma, and found that certain characteristics predicted outgrowth of asthma. These included children that showed no evidence of allergies on allergy testing, those with milder asthma, older age at start of asthma symptoms, higher lung function, and more reactive airways on methacholine challenge testing. Of those children with indoor allergies (pet dander, dust mite, cockroach or mold allergies), those with a significant amount of daily exposure were less likely to outgrow their asthma.
So, for my young patients with asthma and allergies, avoidance of indoor allergens may be helpful in improving the chances of outgrowing asthma. This includes getting rid of the indoor pet dog or cat.
Learn more about the prevention of asthma in children.
Covar RA, Strunk R, Zeiger RS, et al. Predictors of Remitting, Periodic, and Persistent Childhood Asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010; 125:359-66.
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