Viral wheezing in early childhood as a risk factor for asthma in young adulthood: A prospective long-term cohort study

Paula Heikkilä, Matti Korppi, Marja Ruotsalainen, Katri Backman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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    Abstract

    Background and Aims: There is an increased risk of asthma after viral wheezing episodes in early childhood, but unfortunately, prospective longitudinal data until adulthood are mostly lacking. The aim of this cohort study was to evaluate the risk of asthma in young adulthood after hospitalization for viral wheezing episodes in early childhood. Methods: The original cohort comprised 100 individuals aged <24 months who were hospitalized for viral wheezing episodes in 1992–1993. After the index episode, data on a diagnosis of asthma 1 year later and at median ages of 4.0, 7.2, and 12.3 years were recorded in follow-up visits. Forty-nine individuals attended the latest follow-up visit at the age of 17–20 years. Current asthma was diagnosed based on symptoms at the time of the last follow-up, use of inhaled corticosteroids and peak expiratory flow monitoring. Results: A total of 26 (53%) of the 49 cohort individuals had asthma at a mean age of 18.8 years. In multivariate analyses, a diagnosis of asthma 1 year after index hospitalization and at ages 4.0, 7.2, and 12.3 years were significant risk factors for current asthma (adjusted odds ratios [aORs] of 7.13, 8.86, 8.05, and 21.16, respectively). Atopic dermatitis in infancy (aOR: 4.20) and eosinophilia on admission (5.18) were also significant predictive factors for asthma. Conclusion: Over half (26/49) of the participants who had been hospitalized for viral wheezing episodes in early childhood had asthma in young adulthood. An asthma diagnosis at any age during childhood, as well as eosinophilia in early childhood, were independent significant predictive factors for asthma.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere538
    JournalHealth Science Reports
    Volume5
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022
    Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Keywords

    • asthma
    • cohort study
    • risk factors
    • viral wheezing

    Publication forum classification

    • Publication forum level 1

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Medicine

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