A study shows that a specific set of primary care-based asthma guidelines, which were established in 2007, helps to improve persistent asthma in children by 60%.

The study “A primary care-based asthma program improves recognition and treatment of persistent asthma in inner-city children compared to routine care,” was published recently in the Journal of Asthma.

“An estimated 7 million children in the U.S. have asthma and almost half are poorly controlled,” said Dr Karen Warman, associate professor of clinical pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in a news release. “Our study highlights that asthma severity is under-recognized and under-treated during routine care, and access to a dedicated asthma program can improve both assessment and treatment, which could ultimately improve quality of life and decrease hospitalizations and cost.”

The Expert Panel Report 3 (EPR-3): Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma – Full Report, 2007 recommended classifying asthma severity based upon impairment (symptoms, rescue medication use, and lung function) and risk (need for oral steroids). Asthma severity is the basis for beginning long-term medication plans.

The EPR-3 severity classification criteria differs from much earlier guidelines because it includes additional questions for impaired activity and rescue medication use. It also includes modifications to criteria used to interpret spirometry results and classify asthma severity.

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