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OBJECTIVE: To identify risk factors for asthma attacks and poor asthma control in children aged 5-16 years. METHODS: Prospective observational cohort study of 460 children with asthma or suspected asthma from 10 UK general practices.Gender, age, ethnicity, body mass index, practice deprivation decile, spirometry and fraction of exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) were recorded at baseline. Asthma control scores, asthma medication ratio (AMR) and the number of asthma attacks were recorded at baseline and at 6 months.The above independent variables were included in binary multiple logistic regression analyses for the dependent variables of: (1) poor symptom control and (2) asthma attacks during follow-up. RESULTS: Poor symptom control at baseline predicted poor symptom control at 6 months (OR 4.4, p=0.001), while an increase in deprivation decile (less deprived) was negatively associated with poor symptom control at 6 months (OR 0.79, p=0.003). Higher FeNO levels (OR 1.02, p<0.001) and a recent history of asthma attacks (OR 2.03, p=0.02) predicted asthma attacks during follow-up. Asian ethnicity was associated with a lower OR for a future attack (OR 0.32, p=0.02).A decrease in AMR was also associated with an increased OR for future asthma attacks (OR 2.99, p=0.003) when included as an independent variable. CONCLUSIONS: We identified risk factors for poor symptom control and asthma attacks in children. Routine assessment of these factors should form part of the asthma review to identify children at an increased risk of adverse asthma-related events.

Original publication





Arch Dis Child

Publication Date





26 - 31


data collection, physiology, Adolescent, Anti-Asthmatic Agents, Asthma, Child, Child, Preschool, Cohort Studies, Female, Fractional Exhaled Nitric Oxide Testing, Humans, Logistic Models, Male, Nitric Oxide, Primary Health Care, Prospective Studies, Risk Factors, Spirometry, United Kingdom