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Overview of severe asthma, with emphasis on pediatric patients: a review for practitioners

Abstract

Asthma is the most common life-threatening chronic disease in children. Although guidelines exist for the diagnosis and treatment of asthma, treatment of severe, pediatric asthma remains difficult. Limited studies in the pediatric population on new asthma therapies, complex issues with adolescence and adherence, health disparities, and unequal access to guideline-based care complicate the care of children with severe, persistent asthma. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of asthma, including asthma subtypes, comorbidities, and risk factors, to discuss diagnostic considerations and pitfalls and existing treatments, and then present existing and emerging therapeutic approaches to asthma management. An improved understanding of asthma heterogeneity, clinical characteristics, inflammatory patterns, and pathobiology can help further guide the management of severe asthma in children. More studies are needed in the pediatric population to understand emerging therapeutics application in children. Effective multimodal strategies tailored to individual characteristics and a commitment to address risk factors, modifiers, and health disparities may help reduce the burden of asthma in the USA.

  • asthma
  • respiration disorders
  • airway obstruction
  • lung diseases

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