A New Position Paper on the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma in Preschoolers

On World Asthma Day (May 5th), the Canadian Lung Association is pleased to announce that its medical section, the Canadian Thoracic Society, along with the Canadian Paediatric Society have developed a new position paper for family physicians and health-care professionals on the diagnosis and management of asthma in preschoolers. 

“This position paper fills an important gap for family physicians and health-care professionals and will ensure that preschool children with asthma are diagnosed earlier and treated sooner to rapidly improve their quality of life and that of their family” says Dr. Francine Ducharme, the lead author on the position paper and a co-chair of the Canadian Thoracic Society’s Asthma Clinical Assembly.

Some of the key messages include:

  • Recurrent preschool wheezing can be associated with substantial morbidity and may impact long-term health. 
  • Asthma can be diagnosed in a child aged one to five.
  • The diagnosis of asthma should be considered in children aged one to five years old with recurrent asthma-like symptoms or exacerbations, even if triggered by viral infections.
  • Terms such as: “bronchospasm,” “reactive airway disease,” “wheezy bronchitis,” and “happy wheezer” should be abandoned.   
  • Daily inhaled corticosteroid at the lowest effective dose is the preferred first-line management for asthma once the diagnosis is confirmed and control has been achieved.

To read more of the key messages, the entire position statement can be downloaded from the Canadian Respiratory Journal website.

About World Asthma Day
World Asthma Day is an annual event organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) to improve asthma awareness and care around the world.

About the Canadian Lung Association
Established in 1900, The Lung Association is one of Canada’s oldest and most respected health charities, and the leading national organization for science-based information, research, education, support programs and advocacy on lung heath issues. For information on lung health issues, call us toll-free at 1-866-717-2673.  In Quebec, call us toll-free at 1 800-POUMON-9.

About the Canadian Thoracic Society
The Canadian Thoracic Society (CTS) is Canada’s national respiratory specialty society that brings together 700 respirologists, researchers and other physicians working in respiratory health. The CTS is the medical section of the Canadian Lung Association.

Media contact:
Mériem Bougrassa
Canadian Thoracic Society 
(613) 569-6411, ext. 270

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Page Last Updated: 16/10/2015