Adult asthma severity in individuals with a history of childhood asthma

Susan L. Limb, Kathryn C. Brown, Robert A. Wood, Robert A. Wise, Peyton A Eggleston, James Tonascia, Robert G. Hamilton, N. Franklin Adkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Childhood asthma can have a range of outcomes in adulthood. To identify clinical features and exposures associated with persistence and severity of childhood asthma in adulthood. Eighty-five of 121 subjects previously enrolled in a study of immunotherapy for childhood allergic asthma (age 5-12 years) were re-evaluated with allergy skin testing, spirometry, and interviews about asthma symptoms and medications. These young adults (age 17-30 years; 74% male) all had moderate to severe childhood asthma. Adult asthma severity was scored by using a modified version of National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute severity categories. Thirteen (15.3%) of 85 adult subjects were in remission despite persistent childhood asthma. Another 19 subjects (22.4%) had only intermittent asthma. The remaining 53 had persistent asthma, of whom 12 (14.1%) had mild asthma, 25 (29.4%) had moderate asthma, and 16 (18.8%) had severe asthma. Subjects in remission, compared with subjects with intermittent or persistent asthma, had lower total serum IgE in childhood (412 ng/mL vs 1136 ng/mL vs 968 ng/mL; P =. 02) and fewer positive allergy skin tests (7 vs 9 vs 10 from panel of 18; P =. 02). Subjects in remission also had milder childhood asthma, indicated by lower average daily medication usage scores (1.6 vs 3.5 vs 4.4; P =. 005) and lower percentage of days on inhaled corticosteroids (13.7% vs 24.7% vs 40.9%; P =. 008). No significant association was found between current asthma severity and childhood immunotherapy (P =. 46). The prognosis of childhood allergic asthma in adulthood is largely determined early in life. The degree of atopy appears to be a critical determinant of asthma persistence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-66
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005


  • Childhood asthma
  • adult asthma outcomes
  • asthma severity
  • atopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Adult asthma severity in individuals with a history of childhood asthma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this