Health Team

Study: Many Children Needlessly Suffer From Asthma

Posted March 23, 2007 2:05 p.m. EDT
Updated March 23, 2007 7:32 p.m. EDT

Health officials estimate more than 6 million children in the United States have asthma. It can be controlled with the right medication, but a recent study shows most children suffer needlessly.

Asthma has been a problem for 7-year-old Jamal Calliste since he was three years old.

"I wheezed and coughed and just tired, very tired," he said.

After getting the right medications, Jamal's symptoms went away.

"Now, he's more active. He can participate in sports now," said Wanda Cobb, Jamal's mother.

A new study found only 20 percent of kids with persistent asthma have their symptoms well under control, but that means four out of five children suffer more than they should.

According to the study, not enough kids are getting the proper treatment to control their symptoms.

"We all need to keep in mind that it's a chronic problem that has different stages of severity, so it's something you always need to stay on top of," said allergist Dr. Rauno Joks.

Children need to be kept away from things that can trigger an attack.

"There's different parts of the year where kids have worsening of their asthma, be it due to pollens or be it in the winter time due to respiratory viruses," Joks said.

The study appears in the Journal of Amulatory Pediatrics.