Background: Asthma represents a worldwide health problem with a strong morbidity and a major impact on the health care system. Multiple efforts have been made towards the development of new strategies for the prevention and treatment of this disorder. In the light of this the present review of the literature aimed at summarizing the latest advances in prevention and treatment of pediatric asthma with a focus on the most effective options of interventions during the first stages of life.
Methods: References were identified by searches of PubMed. Search terms used in the search were “pediatric asthma”, “treatment” and “prevention”. We included only meta-analysis, randomized controlled trials, reviews and systematic review articles pertaining to humans and subjects aged 0-18 years. All the interventions have been classified as “non-pharmacological” and “pharmacological”.
Results: Non-pharmacological interventions have been focused in identifying the genetic and environmental factors underlying the pathogenesis of this disease, including the individual genetic susceptibility, the early allergic sensitization, the role of the environmental microbiome and the exposure to infections and to pollutants. Moreover, the optimization of the existing pharmacological strategies and the development of new treatment options have improved markedly the management of this disease, thereby reducing the health care costs and ameliorating the quality of life of patients.
Conclusion: Childhood asthma prevention and treatment still represents a worldwide challenge. Future efforts should be aimed at identifying high risk target populations, minimizing the costs of each policy of intervention and increasing adherence to treatment strategies.