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Growth velocity during infancy and onset of asthma in school-aged children


Dr. Joachim Heinrich, Institute of Epidemiology I, Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Centre for Environmental Health, Ingolstädter Landstraβe 1, 85764 Neuherberg, Germany.
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To cite this article: Flexeder C, Thiering E, Brüske I, Koletzko S, Bauer C.-P, Wichmann H.-E, Mansmann U, von Berg A, Berdel D, Krämer U, Schaaf B, Lehmann I, Herbarth O, Heinrich J. Growth velocity during infancy and onset of asthma in school-aged children. Allergy 2012; 67: 257–264.


Background:  Growth velocities during infancy might affect the risk of asthma in childhood. This study examines the association between peak height and weight velocities during the first 2 years of life and onset of asthma and wheeze up to 10 years of age.

Methods:  Data from 9086 children who participated in the GINIplus and LISAplus birth cohorts were analyzed. Information on asthma was requested annually from 1 to 10 years and information on wheeze at 1, 2, 4, 6, and 10 years. Peak height and weight velocities were calculated using height and weight measurements obtained between birth and 2 years of age. Cox proportional hazards models and generalized linear mixed models were calculated after adjustment for potential confounding factors including birth weight and body mass index at 10 years of age.

Results:  Per interquartile range increase in peak weight velocity (PWV), the risk of asthma increased significantly (adjHR: 1.22; CI: 1.02–1.47). The relationship between peak height velocity (PHV) and onset of asthma was nonsignificant (adjHR: 1.08; CI: 0.88–1.31). Wheeze was not significantly associated with PHV or with PWV (adjOR: 1.07; CI: 0.64–1.77 and adjOR: 1.11; CI: 0.68–1.79, respectively).

Conclusions:  Weight gain during infancy is positively associated with physician-diagnosed asthma in school-aged children.