Children with severe asthma today have better control over their illness than children did a mere 10 years ago.
This is likely due to an improvement in asthma medications, according to a new study at National Jewish Health in Denver.
The study was presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI).
Dr. Joseph Spahn and his colleagues reviewed cases of children with severe asthma, comparing patients from 1993 to 1997 against patients from 2004 to 2007.
Leukotriene receptor antagonists (LTRA) are used by about two-thirds of the present patients, along with the combination of inhaled glucocorticoids with long-acting bronchodilators (iGC/LABA). None of the children in the group from 1993 to 1997 were on these medications.
To compare how well these new medications control symptoms of asthma, the doctors looked at the number of patients who needed oral glucocorticoid (GC) medication. They also looked at the average dose of the medication, and how long the average course of treatment lasted.
The children in the 2004 to 2007 group had a lower percentage of patients who needed oral GC medication, and fewer children suffered from adverse effects of GC medication.
The study suggests that this is due to the increased effectiveness of asthma medications available for children today.