Table 5. Ongoing and Emerging Research in the Diagnosis of Asthma in Preschool Children
Vitamin D supplementationSome convincing data of a possible link between maternal vitamin D intake during pregnancy and subsequent risk of wheeze have emerged.24,64,65 Vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy may therefore be a very real option for achieving a primary preventive strategy for early onset wheeze. Before this is formally undertaken, however, studies investigating the mechanism of action of vitamin D are needed, as any potential harmful effects of supplementation during pregnancy should be known.24
RCPCH care pathwayAsthma and rhinitis are conditions that commonly coexist. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health Science and Research Department developed a national asthma/rhinitis care pathway for children with allergies, commissioned by the Department of Health. These conditions have remarkably similar immunopathology; therefore an integrated long-term management approach has been shown to improve symptom control and quality of life.54
Link between gut microbiota, method of birth/delivery, and asthmaThe disruption of the gut microbiota during caesarean delivery and formula feeding has been linked to an increasing number of diseases, including asthma. These long-term health consequences may be partially attributable to the disruption of gut microbiota.66 By understanding birth history, clinicians may be better able to understand factors that contribute to asthma during childhood.