The natural history of asthma from childhood to adulthood

Int J Clin Pract. 2007 Aug;61(8):1371-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-1241.2007.01426.x.


Medical Practitioners are often questioned regarding the prognosis of a child with asthma. We have performed a literature review of the natural history of childhood asthmatics. Factors which affect the natural history and prognosis of childhood asthma are discussed. Current evidence suggests that evolution of asthma severity is fairly predictable. Features of childhood asthma such as severity, duration, atopy, bronchial hyperresponsiveness and exposure to smoking can predict the course of asthma into adulthood. Most children with mild intermittent asthma will outgrow their asthma, or have mild episodic asthma. Early commencement of anti-inflammatory therapy, such as inhaled corticosteroids may prevent the progression of the disease. Most patients with mild asthma have good functional outcome and low healthcare utilisation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Asthma / drug therapy
  • Asthma / etiology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Smoking / adverse effects


  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents