More Asthma Attacks Occur Among Young Children in Spring and Fall
New research that was just presented at the annual Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting has shown that children aged 4 and younger are at a heightened risk for asthma exacerbations than older children and that the risk is highest during two seasons: spring and fall.
To conduct their analysis on the risk for asthma exacerbations – and who is most prone to them – the researchers used electronic health records from Denver, Colorado between January 1, 2011 and March 30, 2016. They looked specifically at the records for people between the ages of 0 and 20, which amounted to 14, 547 people with an asthma diagnosis.
The study identified 3 risk factors for asthma exacerbations: sex, age, and season. Specifically, males were more likely than females to experience exacerbations, children between the ages of 0 and 4 were more likely to experience exacerbations compared to those aged 5 to11 years and those aged 12 to 21 years, and exacerbations were more likely to occur in spring and fall than summer or winter. Summer was the season for which asthma exacerbations were the least likely to occur.
The majority of the individuals from this sample were from low-income families. There were more males (55%) than females within the sample, and Whites and Hispanics were the most represented races within the same. Whites accounted for 55% of the sample, while Hispanics accounted for 51% of it. Blacks made up 22% of the sample, and 23% identified as other or unknown.
While the results of this study may not be generalizable to the overall population, they provide some insight into the risk of asthma exacerbations and may provide information that can be used to prevent exacerbations, especially in cases where risk for exacerbation is elevated. Given the distress that childhood asthma exacerbations cause to both children and their parents, as well as the health-related financial costs, finding ways to prevent these events is a priority among the allergy and immunology communities.