New positions regarding the diagnosis and management of preschool asthma

On World Asthma Day, the Canadian Lung Association announced that, along with the Canadian Paediatric Society, it has developed a new position paper for family physicians and health-care professionals on the diagnosis and management of asthma in preschoolers.


Dr. Francine Ducharme, clinician and researcher at CHU Sainte-Justine and professor at Université de Montréal, co-chairs the Asthma Clinical Assembly of the Canadian Thoracic Society (the association's medical section). She is the lead author of the position paper, which she comments as follows: “The new positions paper fill an important gap for family physicians and health-care professionals and will ensure that preschool children with asthma are diagnosed earlier and treated sooner to rapidly improve their quality of life and that of their family”.

Some of the key messages include:

·           Recurrent preschool wheezing can be associated with substantial morbidity and may impact long-term health.

·           Asthma can be diagnosed in a child aged one to five.

·           The diagnosis of asthma should be considered in children aged one to five years old with recurrent asthma-like symptoms or exacerbations, even if triggered by viral infections.

·           Terms such as: “bronchospasm,” “reactive airway disease,” “wheezy bronchitis,” and “happy wheezer” should be abandoned.

·           Daily inhaled corticosteroid at the lowest effective dose is the preferred first-line management for asthma once the diagnosis is confirmed and control has been achieved.

To read more of the key messages, the entire position statement can be downloaded from the Canadian Respiratory Journal website.

About World Asthma Day

World Asthma Day is an annual event organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) to improve asthma awareness and care around the world.

About the Canadian Thoracic Society

The Canadian Thoracic Society (CTS) is Canada's national respiratory specialty society that brings together 700 respirologists, researchers and other physicians working in respiratory health. The CTS is the medical section of the Canadian Lung Association.

Media contact:

Mériem Bougrassa
Canadian Thoracic Society
(613) 569-6411, ext. 270