Diagnosing asthma in young children: current research & recommendations

J Pediatr Health Care. Sep-Oct 2010;24(5):305-11. doi: 10.1016/j.pedhc.2009.08.007. Epub 2009 Nov 8.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / diagnosis*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant