Papers And Originals

Spectrum of Asthma in Children—II, Allergic Components

Br Med J 1973; 4 doi: (Published 06 October 1973) Cite this as: Br Med J 1973;4:12
  1. K. N. McNichol,
  2. H. E. Williams


    The incidence of a variety of clinical and immunological features of an allergic state was studied at 7, 10, and 14 years of age in a group of children suffering from one of four grades of asthma, ranging from mild subclinical to severe unremitting, and compared with the incidence in a control group of non-asthmatic children. The incidence of all features of allergy was significantly higher in the asthmatics but no one feature unequivocally distinguished the asthmatics from the controls. Almost all the asthmatics showed several features of the allergic state at 14 years of age. A cluster of allergic features was a differentiating characteristic of the asthmatics, and the children with the most allergic manifestations were usually the children with the most severe and persistent asthma. The first appearance of and subsequent variation in some of the allergic manifestations often did not correspond to the clinical course of the asthma.

    Though many manifestations of asthma can be understood on an allergic basis the mechanism by which emotional disturbance, exercise, viral infections, and non-allergenic stimuli precipitate attacks of asthma and the relation of these factors to allergy are unknown.