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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014 Jan;133(1):27-33. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2013.10.026.

Researching asthma across the ages: insights from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Asthma Network.

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Departments of Pediatrics, Epidemiology, and Biostatistics and the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco, Calif. Electronic address:
Milton S. Hershey College of Medicine, Hershey, Pa.
Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep and Allergy, University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System, Chicago, Ill.
Department of Medicine, National Jewish Health, Denver, Colo.


Clinical asthma studies across different age groups (ie, cross-age studies) can potentially offer insight into the similarities, differences, and relationships between childhood and adult asthma. The National Institutes of Health's Asthma Research Network (AsthmaNet) is unique and innovative in that it has merged pediatric and adult asthma research into a single clinical research network. This combination enhances scientific exchange between pediatric and adult asthma investigators and encourages the application of cross-age studies that involve participants from multiple age groups who are generally not studied together. The experience from AsthmaNet in the development of cross-age protocols highlights some of the issues in the evaluation of cross-age research in asthma. The aim of this review is to summarize these challenges, including the selection of parallel cross-age clinical interventions, identification of appropriate controls, measurement of meaningful clinical outcomes, and various ethical and logistic issues.


ACT; Asthma; Asthma Control Test; BARD; Best African-American Response to Asthma Drugs; Childhood Asthma Control Test; FDA; ICS; IRB; Inhaled corticosteroid; Institutional review board; LABA; Long-acting β-agonist; NHLBI; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; QOL; Quality of life; US Food and Drug Administration; VIDA; Vitamin D Add-on Therapy Enhances Corticosteroid Responsiveness in Asthma; cACT; clinical trials; outcome measures; participant recruitment; pediatric assent; pediatric consent; study design

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