Key points

  • Although childhood asthma has historically been more prevalent in western than eastern Europe, the difference is diminishing as rates in the East rise.
  • A British survey reported that 13% of carers of asthmatic children had given up work to care for the child.
  • Approximately 60% of school-aged asthmatic children have allergies, particularly to animal dander, house dust mites and moulds, as well as plant pollens.
  • Asthma typically begins much earlier in life than other chronic diseases, and consequently imposes a high lifetime burden on individuals, their caregivers and the community.
  • Although asthma can usually be controlled, there are currently no proven methods of prevention or cure.

See the entire Childhood asthma Chapter