Background and aims Asthma is the most common chronic disease of childhood. The aims of this study is to describe epidemiological and clinical characteristics of asthmatic infant in south of Tunisia and to identify factors of uncontrolled asthma.
Methods A retrospective study of asthmatic infant <3 years enrolled in the paediatric department of Sfax over a period of 5 years (2007–2011). We were interested to social and environmental factors, in the allergic background, clinical severity of the disease at the beginning, results of allergic skin tests and respiratory outcome.
Results We collected 156 children with a sex ratio of 2.31(109 male and 47 female). Family history of atopy and exposition to passive tobacco were noted in 45% and 50% of cases respectively. Atopic dermatitis was found in 22 cases. The mean age of onset of wheezing was 6.43 months where as the mean age of asthma diagnosis was 14 months. Triggers were viral infections in 64% of cases. Gastroesophageal reflux disease was associated to asthma in 30 cases. Skin tests were positives in 30% of cases. 121 patients (77%) had a persistent wheezing and inhaled corticosteroids were initiated. After a mean follow-up of 23 months, good adherence was achieved in 38.1% and asthma was controlled in 26.8% of cases. A complete clinical remission was achieved in 17 patients (13.5%) at an average age of 30 months.
Conclusion Factors of poor asthma control found in our study were the presence of atopic dermatitis (p = 0.035).