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Deaths from Asthma in Childhood: Can They Be Predicted?

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We have used a case-controlled study to clarify positive, as well as negative, clinical characteristics of children who die with asthma. Variables discriminating between 21 patients who died from asthma and 21 asthmatic control cases matched for age, sex, and severity of illness were: 1) seizures with asthma attacks (p < 0.01); 2) large reductions in prednisone dose (p < 0.01); 3) disregard of wheezing (p < 0.06); 4) increased asthma in the week before discharge (p < 0.05); 5) poor self-care (p < 0.01); 6) parent/staff conflict (p < 0.01); 7) depressive symptoms (p < 0.05); 8) use of inhaled beclomethasone (p < 0.05); 9) patient/staff conflict (p < 0.01); 10) patient/parent conflict (p < 0.05); 11) manipulative use of asthma (p < 0.01); 12) emotional disturbance (p < 0.01); 13) history of reaction to separation or loss (p < 0.01); and 14) family dysfunction (p < 0.05). Most of the clinical characteristics previously thought to place patients at greater risk for a fatal asthmatic attack were equally frequent in the children who died and the control cases. This study indicates that psychological risk factors were prominent in severely asthmatic children who subsequently died of asthma.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 September 1986

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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