Prematurity as a risk factor for asthma in preadolescent children

Erika von Mutius, Thomas Nicolai, Fernando Martinez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

105 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Information on long-term respiratory symptoms in prematurely born children is scanty. We studied an unselected population of 9- to 11-year-old schoolchildren. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to the parents. Children underwent lung function testing, cold air challenge, and skin prick tests. A gestational age <37 weeks in children with a birth weight ≤2500 gm was reported by 5% of the parents. Premature girls had significantly more current asthma (odds ratio (OR) 2.6; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.4, 4.7; p<0.05), recurrent wheezing (OR 1.7; 95% Cl 1.1, 2.7; p<0.001), recurrent shortness of breath (OR 2.4; 95% Cl 1.5, 3.9; p<0.001), and frequent cough with exercise (OR 1.8; 95% Cl 1.1, 2.9; p<0.05) than term girls, especially if they required mechanical ventilation after birth. No such differences could be shown in boys. More prematurely born children who required mechanical ventilation (OR 3.7;95% Cl 2.2, 6.4; p<0.0001) had a family history of asthma than children born at term. Significant decrements could be demonstrated for different measurements of lung function in premature girls. These results remained significant after control for confounders in a multivariate regression analysis. No difference was found between groups for bronchial hyperresponsiveness to cold, dry air or for atopic sensitization. We conclude that a family history of asthma may predispose premature children to more severe respiratory disease. Respiratory symptoms and decrements in lung function seen in girls may reflect abnormalities of lung function in survivors of severe neonatal respiratory disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-229
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of Pediatrics
Volume123
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1993

Fingerprint

Asthma
Odds Ratio
Lung
Artificial Respiration
Infant, Newborn, Diseases
Parents
Air
Respiratory Sounds
Skin Tests
Cough
Birth Weight
Dyspnea
Gestational Age
Survivors
Multivariate Analysis
Regression Analysis
Parturition
Confidence Intervals
Exercise
Population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Cite this

Prematurity as a risk factor for asthma in preadolescent children. / von Mutius, Erika; Nicolai, Thomas; Martinez, Fernando.

In: The Journal of Pediatrics, Vol. 123, No. 2, 1993, p. 223-229.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

von Mutius, Erika ; Nicolai, Thomas ; Martinez, Fernando. / Prematurity as a risk factor for asthma in preadolescent children. In: The Journal of Pediatrics. 1993 ; Vol. 123, No. 2. pp. 223-229.
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