September 16, 2016
1 min read

Fever induced asthma attacks in children linked to treatment failure

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Less responsiveness to standard asthma treatment among children under the age of 6 years is associated with the presence of respiratory viral infection or fever opposed to age, according to recent data published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

Francine M. Ducharme, MD, lead study researcher from the departments of pediatrics and social and preventative medicine at the University of Montreal, and colleagues conducted a prospective, multicenter study to identify risk factors associated with failure of ED management of asthma attacks in children.

The analysis included 973 children aged 1 year to 17 years who visited the ED for moderate or severe asthma attacks between February 14, 2011 and December 20, 2013.

Results showed that only 17% of participants experienced treatment failure, which included greater rates of hospitalization, higher frequency of return visits to the ED, and slower recovery rate during the first 10 days after discharge.

The rate of failure was substantially higher in participants with respiratory viral infection compared to those without (19% vs. 13%).

Preschool aged children had higher incidences of respiratory viral infections compared with older children (67% vs. 46%).

Contrary to study findings published in 2009, these results, when adjusted for severity of the attack, reveal that age is not a factor in responsiveness to standard treatment.

“With the new school year upon us and September being the busiest month of the year for emergency room visits for asthma attacks, the good news for parents is that standard treatment works well for the majority of children, regardless of their age,” Ducharme said. – by Alaina Tedesco


Disclosure: The researchers report funding by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.