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A Journal on Pediatrics, Neonatology, Adolescent Medicine,
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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Minerva Pediatrica 2003 August;55(4):331-44

language: Italian

Management of pediatric asthma

Cristofori R., Solidoro P., Magnoni M. S.


Bronchial asthma, in adults and children, is a major health problem, with prevalence rates ranging from 4% to 7% in western Europe. Observational studies suggest that in Italy, like in the other countries, asthma is poorly controlled: most patients report frequent symptoms and limitation to daily activities; the utilization of healthcare resources (hospitalization, emergency room visits, unscheduled urgent care visit) is high. Recent international guide-lines (GINA) for asthma management, together with an up-date by NIH, point to the primary role of inhaled corticosteroids for the control of the disease. Early interention with anti-inflammatory drugs is important, also in pre-school children with frequent or persistent symptoms, in order to prevent irreversible structural alterations of the airways and to improve long-term prognosis. In the presence of more severe asthma, inhaled corticosteroids can be associated with long-acting beta2-agonists bronchodilators. These 2 drug classes target different and complementary aspects of the pathophysiology of asthma (inflammation and bronchial obstruction) in a synergistic manner, i.e. by mutual potentiation of their pharmacological activity. Thus, combination therapy may optimize beneficial actions, allowing a more effective control of asthma.

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