Clinical features of a paediatric asthma population in Trinidad


  • Authorship and contributorship

    JM collected data and did the preliminary analysis. IB did the advanced analysis and assisted with writing the manuscript. LMPP designed the study and wrote the manuscript. All authors read the final manuscript.

  • Ethics

    The Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Medical Sciences of The University of the West Indies, Trinidad approved this study. The study was performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 2000 Declaration of Helsinki. Caregivers gave their informed consent prior to inclusion of participants in the study.

  • Conflict of interest

    The authors have stated explicitly that there are no conflicts of interest in connection with this article.

  • Data obtained from patient logbook at the paediatric section, A&E department, EWMSC.


Lexley Maureen Pinto Pereira, MD,

Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine 0, Trinidad and Tobago.

Tel: +1 868 663 8613

Fax: +1 868 663 8613




Clinical features and management of paediatric asthma, highly prevalent in the Caribbean, was explored in Trinidadian children.


Children (2–16 years) with acute [visiting Accident and Emergency (A&E) in the past 12 months (50.2%, 120)] or stable asthma [controlled during the previous 3 months (49.8%, 119)] were studied.


There were more (P < 0.001) boys (71.5%) than girls. Asthma was associated with asthmatic mothers (48.5%), fathers (19.2%) and both parents (15.1%) (P < 0.001). Children's average age of first wheeze was 2.5 (standard deviation = 1.3) years; 30.1% were nebulized before 1 year. In the past 12 months, frequencies of A&E visits were once (20.6%), >1 (61.9%) and >3 times (26.4%) (P < 0.001). Sufferers of exacerbations showed negative logistic regression for age (−0.129, standard error = 0.039, P < 0.001) independent of gender. Acute asthmatics who suffered cough, fever and sore throat in the preceding week were respectively 15.2 [odds ratio (OR) = 15.2, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 6.8–34.0], 13.7 (OR = 13.7, 95% CI = 6.7–28.2) and 3.4 (OR = 3.4, 95% CI = 1.7–6.7) times more likely to suffer wheeze exacerbations than stable children. Most stable children (76.5%) inhaled corticosteroids with salbutamol reliever compared with 22.5% of acute asthmatics, whereas 40.8% of the latter group used salbutamol alone compared with 19.3% of stable children (P < 0.001).


Childhood wheeze occurs before 3 years and is associated with maternal asthma. Cough, fever and sore throat in the previous week are strongly associated with exacerbations. Defining these associations could enhance preventive approaches to combat childhood asthma.

Please cite this paper as: Matthew J, Bekele I and Pinto Pereira LM. Clinical features of a paediatric asthma population in Trinidad. Clin Respir J 2012; 7: 189–196.