Author(s): Liu AH, Szefler SJ
There is significant interest in early identification and intervention in childhood asthma. Current asthma guidelines identify inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) as the preferred initial long-term control therapy even in young children. ICS clearly improve asthma control in children with mild to moderate persistent asthma, but it is not clear that they can alter the natu-ral history and progression of asthma. New insights regarding the origins of asthma and allergy and their natural history will continue to stimulate questions regarding the appropriate time for intervention and will stimulate the design of new treatment strategies and the discovery of new medications.