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Asthma in children younger than 12 years: Epidemiology and pathophysiology

Gregory Sawicki, MD, MPH
Kenan Haver, MD
Section Editors
Robert A Wood, MD
Gregory Redding, MD
Deputy Editor
Elizabeth TePas, MD, MS


Asthma is a chronic, inflammatory lung disease characterized by [1]:

Symptoms of cough, wheezing, dyspnea, and chest tightness and are usually related to specific triggering events

Airway narrowing that is partially or completely reversible

Increased airways responsiveness to a variety of stimuli

This topic provides an overview of the epidemiology and pathophysiology of chronic childhood asthma. The evaluation and treatment of chronic childhood asthma are discussed separately. (See "Asthma in children younger than 12 years: Initial evaluation and diagnosis" and "Asthma in children younger than 12 years: Rescue treatment for acute symptoms" and "Asthma in children younger than 12 years: Treatment of persistent asthma with controller medications".)


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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Oct 11, 2016.
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