Asthma is the leading pediatric chronic illness in the United States, and there has been a steady increase in the incidence of asthma in children younger than 6 years of age. Early intervention for asthma decreases morbidity, controls health care costs, and may even preserve lung function. Asthma is difficult to diagnose in young children and is under-diagnosed in this population. It is important for primary care nurse practitioners to diagnose asthma in young children in a timely manner so that therapy can be initiated. This article reviews current recommendations for diagnosing asthma in young children and highlights new and promising diagnostic tools for asthma.
Copyright 2010 National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.