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Early-term birth is a risk factor for wheezing in childhood: a cross-sectional population study

Edwards, Martin O., Kotecha, Sarah J. ORCID:, Lowe, John ORCID:, Richards, Louise, Watkins, W. John ORCID: and Kotecha, Sailesh ORCID: 2015. Early-term birth is a risk factor for wheezing in childhood: a cross-sectional population study. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 136 (3) , 581-587.e2. 10.1016/j.jaci.2015.05.005

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Background: Early term-born (37-38 weeks’ gestation) infants have increased respiratory morbidity during the neonatal period compared to full term-born (39-42 weeks’ gestation) infants, but longer term respiratory morbidity remains unclear. Objective: We assessed if early term-born children have greater respiratory symptoms and healthcare utilization in childhood compared to full term-born children. Methods: We surveyed 1-10 years old, term-born children (N=13361). Questionnaires assessed respiratory outcomes with additional data gathered from national health databases. Results: From 2845 eligible participants, 545 were early term-born and 2300 were full term-born. Early term-born children had higher rates of admission to the neonatal unit (OR 1.7; 95%CI 1.2, 2.5) and admission to hospital during their first year of life (OR 1.6; 95% CI 1.2, 2.1). 48% of early term born children <5 years old reported wheeze-ever compared to 39% full term-born children (OR 1.5; 95% CI 1.1, 1.9) and 26% vs. 17% reported recent wheezing (OR 1.7; 95% CI 1.3, 2.4). Early term-born children ≥5 years old reported higher rates of wheeze-ever (OR 1.4; 95% CI 1.05, 1.8) and recent wheezing over the last 12 months than full term controls (OR 1.4; 95% CI 1.02, 2.0). Increased rates of respiratory symptoms in early term-born children persisted when family history of atopy and delivery by caesarean sections were included in logistic regression models. Conclusion: Early term-born children had significantly increased respiratory morbidity and utilization of healthcare services when compared to full term-born children, even when stratified by mode of delivery and family history of atopy.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cesarean section, asthma, wheezing, gestational age, atopy, bronchodilators
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0091-6749
Date of Acceptance: 7 May 2015
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2023 01:20

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