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Int J Clin Pract. 2007 Aug;61(8):1371-4.

The natural history of asthma from childhood to adulthood.

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  • 1Department of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, Vic., Australia.


Medical Practitioners are often questioned regarding the prognosis of a child with asthma. We have performed a literature review of the natural history of childhood asthmatics. Factors which affect the natural history and prognosis of childhood asthma are discussed. Current evidence suggests that evolution of asthma severity is fairly predictable. Features of childhood asthma such as severity, duration, atopy, bronchial hyperresponsiveness and exposure to smoking can predict the course of asthma into adulthood. Most children with mild intermittent asthma will outgrow their asthma, or have mild episodic asthma. Early commencement of anti-inflammatory therapy, such as inhaled corticosteroids may prevent the progression of the disease. Most patients with mild asthma have good functional outcome and low healthcare utilisation.

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