The development of persistent childhood asthma — characterized by having trouble breathing on an almost daily basis — is not well understood. In most cases, childhood asthma resolves with time, but as many as 20 percent of children with asthma will go on to have potentially severe symptoms in adulthood. In the largest and longest U.S. analysis of persistent asthmatics to date, investigators at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) found a link between persistent childhood asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in early adulthood. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine on May 12, found that early lung function predicts lung growth later in life, regardless of asthma treatment and smoking exposure.
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