Study suggests reduced lung function in infancy associated with wheeze later

February 19, 2013

A study in Australia suggests that reduced lung function in infancy was associated with wheezing beyond childhood at 18 years of age, according to a report published Online First by JAMA Pediatrics, a JAMA Network publication.

Abnormal is characteristic of asthma and chronic obstructive airways disease, and other studies have suggested that reduced is already apparent in childhood and tracks through adulthood. However, the relationship between the age of onset of airway dysfunction and wheeze, a symptom of obstructive airways disease, has not been clarified, the authors write in the study background.

The study by David Mullane, M.D., of University College Cork, Ireland, and colleagues included participants from a who had been followed from one month to 18 years. At age 18 years, 150 participants were assessed and 37 participants (25 percent) had recent wheeze and 20 (13 percent) were diagnosed with asthma, according to the results.

"To our knowledge, this study is the first to report an association between reduced lung function in and wheeze beyond childhood," the authors note.

In the study, a total of 143 participants were categorized as having persistent wheeze (n=13), later-onset wheeze (n=19), remittent wheeze (n=15) and no wheeze (n=96). Compared with the no-wheeze group, persistent wheeze was independently associated with reduced percentage of predicted maximal flow at functional residual capacity (V'maxFRC, mean reduction 43 percent). Compared with the no-wheeze group, persistent wheeze was also associated with atopy (a predisposition to ) in infancy (odds ratio, 7.1); maternal asthma (odds ratio, 6.8) and active smoking (odds ratio, 4.8), according to the results.

"Unexpectedly, we observed that a reduced V'maxFRC at age one month was associated with increased risk for wheeze only in young adults who were also current smokers. These results suggest that reduced early airway function and later exposures such as smoking are important to the cause of obstructive respiratory diseases in young adults. Interventions aimed at preventing young children with asthma symptoms and reduced lung function from smoking might prevent persisting symptoms of obstructive airways disease," the authors comment.

Explore further: Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of wheeze and asthma in preschool children

More information: JAMA Pediatrics February 18, 2013. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.633

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Babies' slow brain waves could predict problems

May 25, 2017

The brain waves of healthy newborns – which appear more abnormal than those of severe stroke victims – could be used to accurately predict which babies will have neurodevelopmental disorders.

Home strep test could save time and money

May 11, 2017

Most children who visit a doctor because they have a sore throat are tested for Streptococcus ("strep throat"), a contagious condition that can cause serious complications if not treated. A new study led by MIT and Beth Israel ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.