June 27, 2016

The odds of asthma

A number of factors during infancy increase the risk that a child will later develop asthma.

In a population-based study of asthma risk, Pingsheng Wu, Ph.D., and colleagues studied 136,098 children born between 1995 and 2003, with asthma assessment occurring between 4.5 and six years of age. As reported in the journal PLOS ONE, 13.3 percent of the children developed asthma.

After adjusting for other variables, having older siblings at home was associated with 15 percent decreased odds of developing asthma, per sibling.

The following were associated with increased odds of asthma, after adjusting for other variables: exposure to antibiotics during the first year of life, 16 percent increased odds per antibiotics course; C-section delivery, 11 percent increased odds; maternal use of antibiotics during pregnancy, 6 percent increased odds per course of antibiotics; maternal urinary tract infection during pregnancy, 4 percent increased odds per infection.

“Compared with in utero exposures, exposures occurring during infancy have a greater impact on the risk of developing childhood asthma,” the authors wrote.

Wu was joined in the study by Vanderbilt researchers Amy Feldman, M.D., Christian Rosas-Salazar, M.D., Tebeb Gebretsadik, MPH, Kecia Carroll, M.D., Edward Mitchel, Chang Yu, Ph.D., William Dupont, Ph.D., and Tina Hartert, M.D., and by researchers in Alaska, California, Maryland and Illinois.

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health (AI077930) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

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