Risk factors for developing wheezing and asthma in childhood

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

113 Scopus citations

Abstract

Wheezing lower respiratory tract illness in infancy and asthma share the clinical findings of wheezing and respiratory distress. Although the link between wheezing lower respiratory tract illness in infancy and the subsequent development of asthma is a limited one, both conditions do share some common risk factors, including exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, difficult living conditions (low socio-economic class, crowding, allergen exposure), and increased risk in males. The impact of baseline lung function on wheezing lower respiratory tract illness risk is substantial and may be independent of airway reactivity. In contrast, the development of chronic airway inflammation mediated by allergic sensitization plays a central role in the development of persistent asthma. Although the endogenous risks for these two outcomes may be fixed, it is clear that caregivers may help to reduce or eliminate the exogenous risks listed earlier by parental education and improvement of the living conditions of young children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1185-1203
Number of pages19
JournalPediatric Clinics of North America
Volume39
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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