Asthma Predictive Index

The Asthma Predictive Index (API) is a set of criteria used by healthcare professionals to assess the likelihood of a child who experiences wheezing developing persistent asthma.

Asthma Predictive Index

Asthma Predictive Index (API)

Major Criteria
Minor Criteria


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By strict criteria; less likely to develop childhood asthma.

Our guide will unravel the mysteries surrounding API, giving you insights into how it may offer foresight in managing your child’s respiratory health—and potentially steering clear of future breathing problems.

Understanding The Asthma Predictive Index (API)

Moving from a general overview to specifics, the Asthma Predictive Index (API) stands as a key diagnostic tool. Doctors use it to predict if young kids with wheezing episodes might develop asthma later on.

The API checks certain signs, symptoms, and family history details. For instance, it looks at whether a child has eczema or allergic rhinitis. It also checks if there’s asthma in the family.

The index plays a big role in early asthma care. Knowing how likely a child is to get asthma helps doctors make better treatment plans. This can lead to fewer asthma attacks and a better quality of life for kids who are at risk.

With proper use of API, parents can prepare and manage their child’s health more effectively.

Purpose Of The Asthma Predictive Index

The Asthma Predictive Index helps doctors figure out which kids might get asthma. This tool is important because it guides them early on. Doctors use the index to spot signs of future asthma in children who wheeze.

Kids with wheezing problems can be scary for parents, and this tool eases their minds by giving clear answers.

Doctors look at a child’s history and check if they have things like eczema or allergies. They also see if a parent has asthma, which can affect the child’s chances. Knowing all this helps doctors prevent asthma from getting worse.

Criteria Of The Asthma Predictive Index

Unraveling the Asthma Predictive Index involves delving into specific criteria—factors that lay the groundwork for assessing a child’s risk of developing asthma—and these pivotal elements might just be what illuminate your understanding and guide future healthcare decisions.

One Major Decisive Factor

Doctors use the Asthma Predictive Index to see if a kid might get asthma later. This index looks at different signs that tell if asthma could happen. One big sign is wheezing a lot without catching a cold.

If your child often has this kind of wheezing, it means there’s more chance they will have asthma as they grow up.

Another big clue is if one or both parents have asthma. Kids whose parents have this breathing problem may also get it themselves. It’s like passing down curly hair or blue eyes in families but for your lungs.

Doctors keep an eye on these things because stopping asthma early can make a huge difference for children as they grow older.

Two Minor Decisive Factors

After we identify the major factor, let’s move on to the smaller pieces of the puzzle. For a child with wheezing issues, two minor factors can also signal asthma risk. These include having atopic dermatitis or eczema and a parent with asthma.

Both point to a genetic or environmental link to allergic diseases. If a child shows sensitivity to allergens like dust mites or pet dander, this might strengthen the suspicion of asthma.

Eczema often goes hand in hand with respiratory disorders. It creates itchy skin that may lead kids to scratch until they bleed. A parent’s history of asthma is another clue for pediatricians.

If mom or dad struggles with shortness of breath and wheezes, their kid might face similar challenges as well.

Accuracy Of The Asthma Predictive Index

Doctors rely on the Asthma Predictive Index to spot kids who might get asthma. This tool helps them act fast and start early treatment. It uses major and minor criteria, including wheezing and family history, for its predictions.

Studies show that the API is pretty good at finding kids with a high risk of developing asthma later on.

The index isn’t perfect, though. Sometimes it says a child will get asthma when they actually won’t, or misses some who do end up with it. But overall, it’s one of the best ways we have right now to guess who might need help for asthma down the road.

Now let’s see how this API stacks up against other things that might point to a risk for asthma in kids.

Actions To Take For A Positive API Result

A positive Asthma Predictive Index (API) can be a call to action. It’s important to know the steps to manage and prevent asthma symptoms. Here’s what you can do:

  • Schedule an appointment with a pediatric pulmonologist. This doctor specializes in children’s lung health.
  • Discuss asthma control plans with your healthcare provider. These plans might include how to avoid triggers and use medications.
  • Have your child tested for allergies. Food allergies, hay fever, and atopic dermatitis (eczema) are common in asthmatics.
  • Learn about asthma medications. Know when and how to use them, especially during a flare-up.
  • Watch for respiratory infections. Viral infections like the flu or respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) can make asthma worse.
  • Reduce exposure to known triggers. Keep away from cigarette smoke, dust, and pet dander if they cause problems.
  • Ask about spirometry testing. This test measures pulmonary function by checking the forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1).
  • Get a flu shot every year to protect against viral respiratory infections that can trigger asthma attacks.
  • Consider lifestyle changes like more exercise and a healthier diet to improve overall health and potentially reduce symptoms of asthma.
  • Educate yourself on recognizing early signs of an asthma episode, such as recurrent wheezing or coughing during physical activity or at night.
  • Keep track of your child’s symptoms with a diary or app designed for pediatric patients with asthma; it helps adjust treatment plans as needed.


Question: How Does The API Help With The Diagnosis Of Asthma?

Using signs like frequent coughing or trouble breathing, along with family history and allergy tests, the API helps doctors spot children who could develop asthma, giving families a heads-up for early care.

Question: Can Exhaled Nitric Oxide Levels Indicate Asthma?

Yes! When someone breathes out higher levels of nitric oxide, it often means there’s inflammation in their lungs — a sign that points towards asthma.

Question: What Do Positive Predictive Values And Negative Predictive Values Mean For An API?

Positive predictive values (PPVs) tell you how likely it is that someone will actually have asthma if the test says so; while negative predictive values (NPVs) show how likely they won’t have it when their results are clear.

Question: Are Skin Prick Tests Used In Determining An Asthma Predictive Index Score?

Indeed! Skin prick tests help find out what allergies someone has by checking reactions on their skin, which can be important clues in calculating an API score.

Question: Does Having Rhinoconjunctivitis Affect My Child’s Asthma Predictive Index Outcome?

Yes, having symptoms like rhinoconjunctivitis — where eyes and nose get irritated — can increase your child’s chances of getting a high score on the API because it’s linked to allergic conditions related to asthma.


Knowing about the Asthma Predictive Index can empower you. With this tool, parents and doctors spot asthma risks early. If the API points to asthma, steps can be taken right away. This might mean fewer missed school days and more playtime for kids.

You can use our tool anywhere and it is completely free. If you have any concerns or questions then don’t hesitate to contact us!

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