What are the implications of a lower than expected forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) in childhood on respiratory health later in adulthood? Lung function is known to track with age, and there is evidence from recent epidemiologic studies that impaired lung function early in life is associated with later chronic airflow limitation, or even chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, COPD. This risk seems particularly strong in subjects with persistent and severe forms of childhood asthma. Can we translate findings from longitudinal cohort studies to individual risk predictions and preventive guidelines in our pediatric care? In this review, we discuss the clinical implementations of recent epidemiological respiratory studies and the importance of preserved lung health across the life course. Also, we evaluate available clinical tools, primarily lung function measures, and profiles of risk factors, including biomarkers, that may help identifying children at risk of chronic airway disease in adulthood. We conclude that translating population level results to the individual patient in the pediatric care setting is not straight forward, and that there is a need for studies specifically designed to evaluate performance of prediction of risk profiles for long-term sequelae of childhood asthma and lung function impairment.
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Immunology and Allergy