Risk Factors for Wheezing during Infancy A Study of 5953 Infants


(H. B.) Vester Søgade 18 7th DK-1601 Copenhagen Denmark


Risk factors for the development of wheezing during infancy were studied in 5953 children. The data for the study were collected from a large prospective investigation of children born in 1959–61, who had attended a one-year follow-up examination. Wheezing was diagnosed when the symptom had been observed at least once during the first year of life, not in conjunction with pneumonia, epiglottitis or acute laryngitis. Logit analysis was used for the purpose of assessing the causal effect of environmental and other factors on the risk of wheezing among infants. The assessment of a risk factor by means of regression technique, requires certain other variables to be included in the regression model. A general rule concerning inclusion of other variables has been formulated and applied to the above data. The study demonstrated that the risk of wheezing was affected by a number of factors—particularly environmental. Poor social environment increases the risk of wheezing, as does the mother's smoking, and placement of the baby in day-care. Boys experienced wheezing more often than girls. Premature infants are more liable to develop wheezing than mature children. Remarkably, children born in the period April through September develop wheezing, but not bronchitis, more often than children born in October through March.