Childhood wheezing phenotypes and their association to perinatal factors: a longitudinal study

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Teresa de la Calle Cabrera
Sonia de Arriba Méndez
Mª Mar López González
Dolores García García
Luis García-Marcos
Purificación Vicente Galindo
Javier Pellegrini Belinchón


Wheezing, phenotypes, risk factors, children


Introduction: Multiple gestational and early life factors have been described as the variables that increase the risk for each phenotype of infantile wheezing. Our objective was to study the evolution of wheezing in a cohort of children followed up to 9–10 years of age and its rela-tionship with different perinatal risk factors.
Methods: A longitudinal study was made on the evolution of wheezing, over time, in 1164 chil-dren from Salamanca (Spain) included in the International Study of Wheezing in Infants, when the children were 12 months old. They were classified into three phenotypes: transient early wheezing (last episode before 3 years of age), early persistent wheezing (start before 3 years age and persisting thereafter), and late-onset wheezing (first episode after 3 years of age). Univariate and multivariable analyses were performed to establish associations between the different phenotypes and perinatal factors.
Results: Data were obtained corresponding to a total of 531 children. Of these, 169 (31.8%) had experienced transient early wheezing, 100 (18.8%) early persistent wheezing, 28 (5.3%) late-onset wheezing, and 234 (44.1%) had never experienced wheezing. Cesarean delivery, early exposure to infections, the presence of atopic eczema, and a smoking father were asso-ciated with transient early wheezing. Early persistent wheezing was associated with a family history of allergy, smoking, and obstetric diseases. Exclusive breastfeeding was identified as a protective factor in both transient and persistent early wheezing. Late-onset wheezing was associated with the male gender and with maternal history of rhinitis and eczema. Conclusions: Wheezing phenotypes were associated with different risk perinatal factors. Knowledge in the field is essential in order to influence the modifiable factors.

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