PARS Tool Improves Predictions of Asthma Development

Published May 2019 | Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

Asthma affects seven million children in the United States, and for two decades, the Asthma Predictive Index (API) has been the most widely-used tool to predict asthma development in young children. However, a new study demonstrates that the Pediatric Asthma Risk Score (PARS), developed by experts at Cincinnati Children’s, improves upon API in predicting when children will develop mild-to-moderate asthma.

PARS was tested using data from the Cincinnati Childhood Allergy and Air Pollution study and replicated against the Isle of Wight birth cohort—a group of children born a decade before those in Cincinnati’s study. PARS performed similarly across the two groups, with an 11% higher sensitivity over API and performed better particularly among children with mild-to-moderate asthma.

“This is significant because these children are the most common and most difficult to predict and might be the most amenable to prevention strategies,” says lead researcher Jocelyn Biagini, PhD.

The API has been used frequently to identify children to populate trials aimed at asthma prevention.

“Thus far, all of the prevention trials have failed,” says Gurjit Khurana Hershey, MD, PhD, director of Asthma Research and senior author of the study. “This may be the case because the children identified by the API are too far down the path already and are not amenable to prevention strategies.”

PARS could help identify children whose asthma still can be prevented, the co-authors say.

Looking ahead, researchers here are partnering with the Environmental Influences on Child Heath Outcomes (ECHO)-CREW National Consortium to test PARS across 11 birth cohorts. The PARS tool is downloadable at the App Store and Google Play.

An image showing a comparison of PARS to the API.

Click image to learn more.

A photo of Jocelyn Biagini Myers, PhD.

Jocelyn Biagini, PhD

A photo of Gurjit Khurana Hershey.

Gurjit Khurana Hershey, MD, PhD


Biagini Myers JM, Schauberger E, He H, Martin LJ, Kroner J, Hill GM, Ryan PH, LeMasters GK, Bernstein DI, Lockey JE, Arshad SH, Kurukulaaratchy R, Khurana Hershey GK. A Pediatric Asthma Risk Score to better predict asthma development in young children. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2019 May;143(5):1803-1810 e1802.