oa Current Allergy & Clinical Immunology - Corticosteriod responsiveness in asthmatic children : comparison between 'difficult-to-control' and 'responsive-to-treatment' asthma - a pilot study : ALLSA research awards report

Volume 24, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1609-3607



Chronic asthma, the most common chronic disease in children, affects approximately 20% of children worldwide. In Africa, the asthma prevalence among children in several centres, including Cape Town and Polokwane, is 18-21.5%, which is similar to that in western Europe. Corticosteroids, which have broad anti-inflammatory effects, are the preferred, most effective and cost-effective treatment for asthma. However, 5-10% of asthmatic patients do not respond well to corticosteroid treatment and are referred to as having 'difficult-to-control' asthma. These subjects can account for more than 50% of the total health care costs of asthma. Patients with 'difficult-to-control' asthma could be relatively insensitive to steroids. There could, however, be other underlying factors such as poor adherence to medication, incorrect inhaler technique, environmental triggers and co-morbid conditions such as rhinosinusitis, gastro-oesophageal reflux and psychosocial dysfunction.

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