The burden of severe asthma in childhood and adolescence: results from the paediatric U-BIOPRED cohorts

Louise Fleming, Clare Murray, Aruna T Bansal, Simone Hashimoto, Hans Bisgaard, Andrew Bush, Urs Frey, Gunilla Hedlin, Florian Singer, Wim M van Aalderen, Nadja H Vissing, Zaraquiza Zolkipli, Anna Selby, Stephen Fowler, Dominick Shaw, Kian Fan Chung, Ana Sousa, Scott Wagers, Julie Corfield, Ioannis PandisAnthony Rowe, Elena Formaggio, Peter J Sterk, Graham Roberts, U-BIOPRED Study Group

179 Citations (Scopus)


U-BIOPRED aims to characterise paediatric and adult severe asthma using conventional and innovative systems biology approaches.A total of 99 school-age children with severe asthma and 81 preschoolers with severe wheeze were compared with 49 school-age children with mild/moderate asthma and 53 preschoolers with mild/moderate wheeze in a cross-sectional study.Despite high-dose treatment, the severe cohorts had more severe exacerbations compared with the mild/moderate ones (annual medians: school-aged 3.0 versus 1.1, preschool 3.9 versus 1.8; p<0.001). Exhaled tobacco exposure was common in the severe wheeze cohort. Almost all participants in each cohort were atopic and had a normal body mass index. Asthma-related quality of life, as assessed by the Paediatric Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (PAQLQ) and the Paediatric Asthma Caregiver's Quality of Life Questionnaire (PACQLQ), was worse in the severe cohorts (mean±se school-age PAQLQ: 4.77±0.15 versus 5.80±0.19; preschool PACQLQ: 4.27±0.18 versus 6.04±0.18; both p≤0.001); however, mild/moderate cohorts also had significant morbidity. Impaired quality of life was associated with poor control and airway obstruction. Otherwise, the severe and mild/moderate cohorts were clinically very similar.Children with severe preschool wheeze or severe asthma are usually atopic and have impaired quality of life that is associated with poor control and airflow limitation: a very different phenotype from adult severe asthma. In-depth phenotyping of these children, integrating clinical data with high-dimensional biomarkers, may help to improve and tailor their clinical management.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1322-33
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015


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