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February 4, 1961

Asthma in Infants and Young Children

Author Affiliations

Durham, N. C.

Professor of Pediatrics (Allergy) Duke University Medical Center.

JAMA. 1961;175(5):365-369. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040050021005

In a survey of 403 apparently healthy babies, 43 were found to have wheezing during the first 2 years of life. Difficulties with feeding, colic and other gastrointestinal disturbances, irritability, disturbances of sleep, recurring croupy colds, and rashes were often seen in the first year of life in children who later developed asthma. Attacks often developed insidiously after several days of seemingly mild respiratory infection. Infection regularly triggered attacks in young children. Restlessness was a characteristic feature of such attacks. Atelectasis and pneumonia were common complications. Treatment consisted of the combined use of bronchodilators, hydration, expectorants, and judicious sedation. Steroids and antibiotics were frequently necessary to relieve acute attacks.