Table 1—

Diagnostic criteria for asthma

History of at least one asthma-like symptom: prolonged cough, wheezing, attacks of or exercise-induced dyspnoea, or nocturnal cough or wheezing and
Demonstration of reversibility in airway obstruction in lung function tests: significant improvement in response to short-acting bronchodilating medication in a bronchodilator test (the criteria for significant changes were: FEV1≥15%, FVC≥15%, and PEF≥23%) and/or ≥20% daily variation# and/or ≥15% improvement# in response to short-acting bronchodilating medication during ≥2 days in a 2-week diurnal PEF follow-up and/or significant improvement in spirometric lung function and/or ≥20% improvement in the average PEF level in response to a 2-week oral steroid treatment
  • FEV1: forced expiratory volume in one second

  • FVC: forced vital capacity

  • PEF: peak expiratory flow

  • #: calculated according to the standard practice of the Tampere University Hospital 20

  • maximum daily variation=(highest PEF value during the day – lowest PEF value during the day)/highest PEF value during the day

  • bronchodilator response=(highest PEF value after bronchodilating medication – highest PEF value before medication)/highest PEF value before medication. Data taken from 20