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Major European study helps to identify characteristics of paediatric cohorts and how asthma affects their lives

A major European study has helped explaining how asthma affects the lives of children and adolescents with asthma and their parents.

The new paper, published online on 24 September, 2015 in the European Respiratory Journal, is one of the largest assessments of children and adolescents with severe asthma to date using conventional and innovative systems biology approaches.

 The authors have also worked with patients involved in the project to produce a lay abstract for the paper to ensure that the findings of the study are also accessible to patients and the public. 

A total of 99 school-age children with severe asthma and 81 preschoolers with severe wheeze were compared with 49 school-age children with mild/moderate asthma and 53 preschoolers with mild/moderate wheeze in a cross-sectional study. As part of the study, asthma-related quality of life was assessed through two questionnaires.

 The results found that asthma-related quality of life was worse in severe cohorts, however, mild/moderate cohorts also had significant morbidity. Impaired quality of life was associated with poor control and airway obstruction. Otherwise, the severe and mild/moderate cohorts were clinically very similar.

 A key finding is that children with severe preschool wheeze or severe asthmahave very different phenotype from adult severe asthma. In-depth phenotyping of these children, integrating clinical data with high-dimensional biomarkers, may help to improve and tailor their clinical management.

The U-BIOPRED study will continue to publish findings in the coming months. Sign up to the U-BIOPRED newsletter to keep up to date with U-BIOPRED news and press releases.

Read the full paper (subscription required)