Clinical Features and Prevalence of Asthma and Wheeze Associated Lower Respiratory Infection in Children
Background and Objectives: Both Asthma and wheeze associated lower respiratory infection (WALRI) has wheeze as common feature. Under diagnosis of asthma will lead to overuse of antibiotics and under diagnosis of WALRI leads to overuse of controller therapy for asthma We conducted a study to differentiate WALRI and Asthma based on clinical symptoms in order to optimize both short term and long term management of these two conditions. Methods: This was a cross sectional study conducted in 44 children aged between 0 – 5 years getting admitted with respiratory distress in the department of Paediatrics. The case records of patients admitted were entered in proforma and were diagnosed as asthmatics and having WALRI based on clinical symptoms. The relation of various parameters with asthma or WALRI was observed. Results: All subjects with asthma had wheeze and in contrast, 40.5% of children with WALRI had wheeze (P=0.004). Our study showed that fever and day symptoms were related to asthma and WALRI (P=0.001), whereas night symptoms were unrelated (P=0.1). When data was analysed for the relationship between recurrent symptoms, asthma and WALRI, the results were highly significant (P=1.0). Climatic variation (P=0.001), family history of asthma (P=0.001) and abnormal chest X-ray (P=0.01) were related to asthma. Conclusion: Our study shows that H/O recurrent wheeze, family history of asthma and symptoms such as breathlessness, and wheeze were indicative of asthma. Fever with respiratory distress was found to be indicative of WALRI. Both day and night symptoms are present for WALRI, but night symptoms are predominant in asthma.