The burden of asthma in children: a European perspective.

Department of Paediatrics, University Children's Hospital, CH-8032 Zürich, Switzerland.
Paediatric respiratory reviews (Impact Factor: 2.22). 04/2005; 6(1):2-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.prrv.2004.11.001
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Asthma is the most common chronic disease in childhood, imposing a huge burden on the patient, their family and society. It is a worldwide disease with variable expression between countries and between different populations in a country. There is evidence that its prevalence has increased considerably over the last two decades and is still increasing, despite there being some indications that the increase in prevalence may have plateaued in some countries in the last few years. Better understanding of the natural course of asthma and improved asthma control can lead to a decreased burden on the patient, their family and society. The burden of asthma consists mainly of a decreased quality of life for the patient and their family, as well as high costs for society; the healthcare expenditures for asthma in developed countries are 1-2% of the total healthcare costs.

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    ABSTRACT: Asthma is a disorder characterized by chronic airway inflammation, airway hypersensitivity to a variety of stimuli, and airway obstruction that is at least partially or even completely reversible. To make correct diagnosis of asthma, diagnosis must be based on typical symptoms of asthma and identification of airway hyper responsiveness (AHR) or variable airway obstruction. In some cases, additionally we need to use bronchial provocation test using nonspecific stimuli, such as methacholine or histamine, what is useful for the determination of AHR. However, it is somewhat invasive in nature and it is not available in primary-care clinics or even in many general hospitals. Bronchodilator response (BDR) to short-acting β2-agonists is a valuable test to evaluate variable airway obstruction, which is only useful in patients with reduced lung function at the time of visit. Developed integrated software suite is user friendly tool which considers all this parameters to assist clinicians in the analysis and interpretation of pulmonary function tests data to better detect, diagnose, and treat asthma conditions. A total sum of 72 patient reports with previously diagnosed asthma by clinicians was tested with this tool. The software has performed the classification of asthma in the same way as doctors in 65 (90.27%) cases.
    MIPRO, 2013 Proceedings of the 36th International Convention, Opatija, Croatia, 21-25 May, 2013, Opatija, Croatia; 05/2013
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    ABSTRACT: STUDY QUESTION: Is asthma more common in children born after subfertility and assisted reproduction technologies (ART)? SUMMARY ANSWER: Yes. Asthma, wheezing in the last year and anti-asthmatic medication were all more common in children born after a prolonged time to conception (TTC). This was driven specifically by an increase in children born after ART. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Few studies have investigated any association between ART and asthma in subsequent children, and findings to date have been mixed. A large registry-based study found an increase in asthma medication in ART children but suggests underlying infertility is the putative risk factor. Little is known about asthma in children after unplanned or mistimed conceptions. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: The Millennium Cohort Study is a UK-wide, prospective study of 18 818 children recruited at 9 months of age. Follow-up is ongoing. This study analyses data from follow-up surveys at 5 and 7 years of age (response rates of 79 and 70%, respectively). PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: Singleton children whose natural mothers provided follow-up data were included. Mothers reported whether their pregnancy was planned; planners provided TTC and details of any ART. The population was divided into 'unplanned' (unplanned and unhappy), 'mistimed' (unplanned but happy), 'planned' (planned, TTC < 12 months), 'untreated subfertile' (planned, TTC >12 months), 'ovulation induced' (received clomiphene citrate) and 'ART' (IVF or ICSI). The primary analysis used the planned children as the comparison group; secondary analysis compared the treatment groups to the children born to untreated subfertile parents. Outcomes were parent report of asthma and wheezing at 5 and 7 years, derived from validated questions in the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood, plus use of anti-asthmatic medications. A total of 13 041 (72%) children with full data on asthma and confounders were included at 5 years of age, and 11 585 (64%) at 7 years. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: Compared with planned children, those born to subfertile parents were significantly more likely to experience asthma, wheezing and to be taking anti-asthmatics at 5 years of age [adjusted odds ratio (OR): 1.39 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.07, 1.80), OR: 1.27 (1.00, 1.63) and OR: 1.90 (1.32,2.74), respectively]. This association was mainly related to an increase among children born after ART (adjusted OR: 2.65 (1.48, 4.76), OR: 1.97, (1.10, 3.53) and OR: 4.67 (2.20, 9.94) for asthma, wheezing and taking anti-asthmatics, respectively). The association was also present, though reduced, at the age of 7 years. LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: The number of singletons born after ART was relatively small (n = 104), and as such the findings should be interpreted with caution. However, data on a wide range of possible confounding and mediating factors were available and analysed. The data were weighted for non-response to minimize selection bias. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: The findings add to the growing body of evidence suggesting an association between subfertility, ART and asthma in children. Further work is needed to establish causality and elucidate the underlying mechanism. These findings are generalizable to singletons only, and further work on multiples is needed. STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S): This study was funded by a Medical Research Council project grant. No competing interests.
    Human Reproduction 12/2012; 28(2). DOI:10.1093/humrep/des398 · 4.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: The aim of this study was to estimate the cost-effectiveness of nebulized magnesium sulphate (MgSO4) in acute asthma in children from the perspective of the UK National Health Service and personal social services. Methods: An economic evaluation was conducted based on evidence from a randomized placebo controlled multi-center trial of nebulized MgSO4 in severe acute asthma in children. Participants comprised 508 children aged 2-16 years presenting to an emergency department or a children's assessment unit with severe acute asthma across thirty hospitals in the United Kingdom. Children were randomly allocated to receive nebulized salbutamol and ipratropium bromide mixed with either 2.5 ml of isotonic MgSO4 or 2.5 ml of isotonic saline on three occasions at 20-min intervals. Cost-effectiveness outcomes were constructed around the Yung Asthma Severity Score (ASS) after 60 min of treatment; whilst cost-utility outcomes were constructed around the quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) metric. The nonparametric bootstrap method was used to present cost-effectiveness acceptability curves at alternative cost-effectiveness thresholds for either: (i) a unit reduction in ASS; or (ii) an additional QALY. Results: MgSO4 had a 75.1 percent probability of being cost-effective at a GBP 1,000 (EUR 1,148) per unit decrement in ASS threshold, an 88.0 percent probability of being more effective (in terms of reducing the ASS) and a 36.6 percent probability of being less costly. MgSO4 also had a 67.6 percent probability of being cost-effective at a GBP 20,000 (EUR 22,957) per QALY gained threshold, an 8.5 percent probability of being more effective (in terms of generating increased QALYs) and a 69.1 percent probability of being less costly. Sensitivity analyses showed that the results of the economic evaluation were particularly sensitive to the methods used for QALY estimation. Conclusions: The probability of cost-effectiveness of nebulized isotonic MgSO4, given as an adjuvant to standard treatment of severe acute asthma in children, is less than 70 percent across accepted cost-effectiveness thresholds for an additional QALY.
    International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care 11/2014; 30(04):1-7. DOI:10.1017/S0266462314000440 · 1.56 Impact Factor