The Role of Influenza Vaccination in Asthmatic Children

  • Herman J. Bueving
  • Johannes C. van der Wouden
Part of the Allergy Frontiers book series (ALLERGY, volume 5)

Asthma is the most occurring chronic disease in children. Asthma related genes and environmental factors play a role in the etiology. Nowadays, asthma is regarded as a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways instead of solely a reversible airway obstruction. Asthma is often diagnosed on specific symptoms such as chest tightness, wheezing, dyspnea, and coughing. It is likely that, rather than a single disease entity, asthma consists of related, partially overlapping syndromes. The first symptoms often are experienced before the age of 5. Children with the highest risk have a family history of atopy and/or asthma. Viral infections with symptoms of wheezing acquired in the first year of life may be associated with the risk of developing asthma later on [1]. However, making the diagnosis with a reasonable certainty that is supported by spirometry is only possible from the age of 6 onward. More than 50% of children with a period of wheezing earlier on in life are not diagnosed as having asthma at the age of 6 [2].

The use of rescue and anti-inflammatory medication has largely altered the prospects of asthma patients and has improved their quality of life. Thus, nowadays, most asthma patients lead a normal life without restrictions. Disease control achieved by the asthmatics is an important predictor of the likelihood of complications of the disease [3]. However, asthma exacerbations neither respond to inhaled steroids nor can they substantially be prevented in this way [4, 5]. Only the use of oral corticos-teroids seems to be unmistakably effective in case of exacerbations [6, 7].


Influenza Virus Respiratory Syncytial Virus Influenza Vaccine Influenza Vaccination Asthmatic Child 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Herman J. Bueving
    • 1
  • Johannes C. van der Wouden
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of General Practice, Erasmus MCUniversity Medical Center RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of General Practice, Erasmus MCUniversity Medical Center RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands

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