Current asthma guidelines calling for checkups every six months after diagnosis may be too infrequent for inner-city children diagnosed with the condition. That's the finding of a study from Johns Hopkins Children's Center, published in the November issue of Pediatrics. Given the unpredictable nature of asthma in inner-city children, researchers are recommending four or more checkups per year to prevent dangerous flare-ups of wheezing and trips to the emergency department. The study also reports that asthma control, not the severity of the disease at diagnosis, is a more accurate predictor of a child's risk for flare-ups. Asthma is the most common pediatric chronic illness, affecting 6.2 million children in the United States.
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