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High Prevalence of Atopy in Severe Persistent Pediatric Asthmatics in Memphis, Tennessee

Objective: Asthma is a heterogeneous disease that affects millions of adults and children in the United States. The patho-mechanism of asthma is still being elucidated and therapies that control this disease have limitations. It is important to be able to distinguish various asthma phenotypes to allow personalized treatments.

Methods: Pediatric asthmatics from one single institution were enrolled for genomic DNA repository study if they fit the WHO guidelines for severe persistent asthmatics. Various personal health information of the first 100 children were reviewed including gender, age, smoke exposure, lung function test, ICU admissions, controller medication, insurance, body mass index, and allergy skin testing results.

Results: Review of the cohort showed a younger population with a median age of 9 years old. Most importantly, 97% of the patients were found to be atopic. Other findings include a predominantly African American population (89%), mainly holding public insurance (76%), and a significantly overweight and obese (56%) cohort.

Conclusion: The rate of atopy in our cohort of pediatric severe asthmatic children is extremely high, likely due to a warm and humid climate leading to high pollination, mold spores and dust mite content. Early aggressive environmental control and allergen immunotherapy, weight control and social changes are needed. Keywords: Severe asthma; Pediatric; Phenotype; Atopy; Obesity


Jennifer Lan, Hoi Sing Chung, Karen Maltby, Charles Stewart, John Vickery, Christie Michael and Betty Lew D

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