Assessment of Asthma Severity by History and Lung Function Study in School Age Children


Background: The assessment of childhood asthma severity is important for the diagnosis and determining the initial level or step of the treatment of childhood asthma. It can be performed either by history alone for children less than five years old or by history and pulmonary function test for older children.Objective: to evaluate and compare the utility of history and lung function test in the assessment of asthma severity in childrenPatients and Method: Across-sectional study was conducted in Karbala teaching hospital of pediatrics, during the period from October 1, 2013 - April 30, 2014. The study included 50 children of both genders diagnosed with asthma (diagnosis made by consultant pediatrician). A questionnaire was designed for the assessment of asthma severity by history which included symptoms frequency over the preceding 4 weeks respectively. The lung function test was only done in children 6-year-old and more. All children in our study had performed lung function test.Results: The mean age of studied group was 9.6 ± 2.5. The result of asthma severity assessment based on history was as follow: 14/50 patients (28%) had intermittent asthma, 36/50 (72%) had persistent asthma of different degrees, mild in 11/50 (22%), moderate in 19/50 (38%) and severe persistent asthma in 6/50 (12%). While according to lung function test, 12/50 patients (24%) had intermittent asthma, 15/50 (30%) had mild persistent, 19/50 (38%) had moderate persistent and the remaining 4/50 patients (8%) had severe persistent asthma. There was no significant statistical difference in severity assessment between the two methods (P > 0.05).Conclusions: Our study shows good correlation between history and lung function test regarding classification of childhood asthma severity. History is an excellent tool for the assessment of childhood asthma severity when lung functions test is unavailable or difficult to be done in younger children.