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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


PEREIRA, Julio Cesar R.; CARSWELL, Fleming  and  HUGHES, Anthony O.. Assessment and prediction of asthma and its severity in the pediatric community. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 1990, vol.24, n.6, pp.437-444. ISSN 1518-8787.

Seventy four asthmatic children aged 7 to 11 years were examined along with controls matched by age and sex. Clinical and laboratory investigations preceded a 28-day follow-up where data about morning and evening peak expiratory flow rate (PEF), symptoms and treatment were recorded. The coefficient of variation of PEF was found to be an objective measurement of asthma severity that has statistically significant correlation with both symptoms (rs= .36) and treatment (rs= .60). Moreover, it separates mild and severe asthmatics, as confirmed by statistically significant differences (p= .008 or less) in symptoms, treatment, skin allergy and airways response to exercise. Skin allergy and airways responsiveness to exercise were found to be predictors of both disease and severity. By means of logistic regression analysis it was possible to establish the probabilities for both asthma and severe asthma when children presenting and not presenting these characteristics are compared. One single positive skin test represent a probability of 88% for the development of asthma and a probability of 70% for severe disease. A PEF reduction of 10% after an exercise test implies a probability of 73% for disease and a probability of 64% for severe disease. Increases in these variables imply geometrically increased risks and their presence together have a multiplicative effect in the final risk.

Keywords : Asthma [epidemiology]; Predictive value of tests; Risk.

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