Is It True That Most Children Are Under Five Years Old When They Have Their First Asthma Attack?

Question: Is it true that most children are under five years old when they have their first asthma attack?

Answer: About 50 percent of children will have a wheezing episode within the first five years of life and most of these occur with colds. Not all these children will develop persistent asthma, but most children with allergic asthma will present with symptoms by the time they are six.

Since many young children wheeze with colds, studies have been done to predict which of these children will go on and have asthma. For children less than three who've had more than three episodes of wheezing in the previous year, they're more likely to have asthma if they have a parent with asthma, have evidence of allergies or atopic dermatitis and have wheezing or persistent cough without infections, for example, with exertion or exposure to other triggers.

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