In which age groups is pediatric asthma most prevalent?

Updated: Jan 08, 2019
  • Author: Girish D Sharma, MD, FCCP, FAAP; Chief Editor: Kenan Haver, MD  more...
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In most children, asthma develops before age 5 years, and, in more than half, asthma develops before age 3 years.

Among infants, 20% have wheezing with only upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs), and 60% no longer have wheezing by age 6 years. As Martinez et al have pointed out, however, many of these children are "transient wheezers" whose symptoms subside during the preschool or early school years. [37, 38] They tend to have no allergies, although their lung function is often abnormal. These findings have led to the idea that they have small lungs.

Children in whom wheezing begins early in conjunction with allergies are more likely to have wheezing when they are aged 6-11 years. Similarly, children in whom wheezing begins after age 6 years often have allergies, and the wheezing is more likely to continue when they are aged 11 years. [20]

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