Development of a Symptom-Based Tool for Screening of Children at High Risk of Preschool Asthma Journal Articles uri icon

  • Overview
  • Research
  • Identity
  • Additional Document Info
  • View All


  • ImportanceDespite advances in asthma therapeutics, the burden remains highest in preschool children; therefore, it is critical to identify primary care tools that distinguish preschool children at high risk for burdensome disease for further evaluation. Current asthma prediction tools, such as the modified Asthma Predictive Index (mAPI), require invasive tests, limiting their applicability in primary care and low-resource settings.ObjectiveTo develop and evaluate the use of a symptom-based screening tool to detect children at high risk of asthma, persistent wheeze symptoms, and health care burden.Design, Setting, and ParticipantsThe cohort for this diagnostic study included participants from the CHILD Study (n = 2511) from January 1, 2008, to December 31, 2012, the Raine Study from January 1, 1989, to December 31, 2012 (n = 2185), and the Canadian Asthma Primary Prevention Study (CAPPS) from January 1, 1989, to December 31, 1995 (n = 349), with active follow-up to date. Data analysis was performed from November 1, 2019, to May 31, 2022.ExposuresThe CHILDhood Asthma Risk Tool (CHART) identified factors associated with asthma in patients at 3 years of age (timing and number of wheeze or cough episodes, use of asthma medications, and emergency department visits or hospitalizations for asthma or wheeze) to identify children with asthma or persistent symptoms at 5 years of age.Main Outcomes and MeasuresWithin the CHILD Study cohort, CHART was evaluated against specialist clinician diagnosis and the mAPI. External validation was performed in both a general population cohort (Raine Study [Australia]) and a high-risk cohort (CAPPS [Canada]). Predictive accuracy was measured by sensitivity, specificity, area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC), and positive and negative predicted values.ResultsAmong 2511 children (mean [SD] age at 3-year clinic visit, 3.08 [0.17] years; 1324 [52.7%] male; 1608 of 2476 [64.9%] White) with sufficient questionnaire data to apply CHART at 3 years of age, 2354 (93.7%) had available outcome data at 5 years of age. CHART applied in the CHILD Study at 3 years of age outperformed physician assessments and the mAPI in predicting persistent wheeze (AUROC, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.90-0.97), asthma diagnosis (AUROC, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.69-0.77), and health care use (emergency department visits or hospitalization for wheeze or asthma) (AUROC, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.61-0.78). CHART had a similar predictive performance for persistent wheeze in the Raine Study (N = 2185) in children at 5 years of age (AUROC, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.79-0.86) and CAPPS (N = 349) at 7 years of age (AUROC, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.80-0.94).Conclusions and RelevanceIn this diagnostic study, CHART was able to identify children at high risk of asthma at as early as 3 years of age. CHART could be easily incorporated as a routine screening tool in primary care to identify children who need monitoring, timely symptom control, and introduction of preventive therapies.


  • Reyna, Myrtha E
  • Dai, Ruixue
  • Tran, Maxwell M
  • Breton, Vanessa
  • Medeleanu, Maria
  • Lou, Wendy YW
  • Foong, Rachel E
  • Emmerson, Melanie
  • Dharma, Christoffer
  • Miliku, Kozeta
  • Lefebvre, Diana L
  • Simons, Elinor
  • Azad, Meghan B
  • Chan-Yeung, Moira
  • Becker, Allan B
  • Mandhane, Piush J
  • Turvey, Stuart E
  • Hall, Graham L
  • Moraes, Theo J
  • Sears, Malcolm
  • Subbarao, Padmaja

publication date

  • October 3, 2022