The effects of respiratory infections, atopy and breastfeeding on childhood asthma

W.H. Oddy, Nicholas De Klerk, Peter Sly, Patrick Holt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

190 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The objectives of the present study were to quantify the association of atopy and respiratory infections with asthma, and exclusive breastfeeding with respiratory illness, atopy and asthma in children.A cohort study of 2,602 children enrolled prior to birth and followed prospectively, provided data on respiratory illness, the method of feeding in the first year of life, as reported on a prospective diary card, and current asthma at the age of 6 yrs (defined as doctor-diagnosed asthma with wheeze in the last year or cough without a cold, and currently taking either preventer or reliever asthma medication), as reported by parental questionnaire. Atopy was defined by a positive skin-prick test assessed at the age of 6 yrs.Wheezing lower respiratory illness (LRI) in the first year of life, particularly multiple episodes of wheezing LRI, increased the risk for current asthma in both nonatopic (odds ratio (OR) 4.10, pless than or equal to0.0005) and atopic children (OR 9.00, pless than or equal to0.0005), but did not increase the risk for atopy. In contrast, up to three upper respiratory tract infections demonstrated a negative association and four or more a positive risk for current asthma in unadjusted (p=0.006) and adjusted (p=0.057) analysis. Following adjustment, exclusive breastfeeding for
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)899-905
JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
Volume19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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