Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Childhood asthma in adult life: a further study at 28 years of age.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987; 294 doi: (Published 25 April 1987) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987;294:1059
  1. W J Kelly,
  2. I Hudson,
  3. P D Phelan,
  4. M C Pain,
  5. A Olinsky


    A group of 323 subjects who had wheezed in childhood and 48 control subjects of the same age were studied prospectively from 7 to 28 years of age. A classification system based on wheezing frequency was found to correlate well with clinical and spirometric features of airway obstruction. The amount of wheezing in early adolescence seemed to be a guide for severity in later life with 73% of those with few symptoms at 14 continuing to have little or no asthma at 28 years. Similarly 68% of those with frequent wheezing at 14 still suffered from recurrent asthma at 28 years. Most subjects with frequent wheezing at 21 continued to have comparable asthma at 28 years. Of those with infrequent wheezing at 21, 44% had worsened at 28 years. Women fared better than men between 21 and 28 with 19% having worse symptoms compared with 28% of men. Treatment at all ages was generally inadequate. The number of smokers among those with asthma was of concern.