Significant impact of recurrent respiratory tract infections in children with Down syndrome
Article first published online: 9 JUL 2012
© 2012 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Child: Care, Health and Development
Volume 39, Issue 6, pages 801–809, November 2013
How to Cite
Verstegen, R. H. J., van Gameren-Oosterom, H. B. M., Fekkes, M., Dusseldorp, E., de Vries, E. and van Wouwe, J. P. (2013), Significant impact of recurrent respiratory tract infections in children with Down syndrome. Child: Care, Health and Development, 39: 801–809. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2214.2012.01413.x
- Issue published online: 2 OCT 2013
- Article first published online: 9 JUL 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 24 APR 2012
- Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development ZON-MW. Grant Number: 2200.0061
- Down syndrome;
- health-related quality of life;
- recurrent respiratory tract infections
Parents and health professionals believe that recurrent respiratory tract infections (RRTI) have a large impact on children with Down syndrome (DS). We studied the relation between parent-reported RRTI and development, behaviour and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in 8-year-old children with DS.
During a 3-year period, 325 children with DS were recruited for inclusion in this observational study. Parents were asked to fill in the Child Behavior Checklist and TNO-AZL Children's Quality of Life Parent Form. A psychological assistant administrated the McCarthy Scales of Children's Abilities. The children were divided into a group with presence of RRTI (RRTI +) and a group without RRTI (RRTI −), on the basis of parental report. Linear regression analyses were performed to assess the effect of RRTI, while correcting for the influence of confounders.
Compared with RRTI − children (n = 176), RRTI + children (n = 149, 46%) showed decreased mental and motor development (mean developmental age 3.67 vs. 4.08 years), more behavioural problems and lower scores on most HRQoL scales (P < 0.05). Moreover, school enrolment is less favourable in RRTI + children.
In 8-year-olds with DS, the children with parent-reported RRTI show more delayed development, more behavioural problems and lower HRQoL compared with the children without RRTI. Although this association does not prove a causal relationship, further studies should focus on this, because RRTI are potentially preventable.