Epidemiological aspects of and risk factors for wheezing in the first year of life

  • Fogaça H
  • Marson F
  • Toro A
 et al. 
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OBJECTIVE: To determine, in a sample of infants, the prevalence of and risk factors for occasional wheezing (OW) and recurrent wheezing-wheezy baby syndrome (WBS). METHODS: Parents of infants (12-15 months of age) completed the International Study of Wheezing in Infants questionnaire. RESULTS: We included 1,269 infants residing in the city of Blumenau, Brazil. Of those, 715 (56.34%) had a history of wheezing, which was more common among boys. The prevalences of OW and WBS were 27.03% (n = 343) and 29.31% (n = 372), respectively. On average, the first wheezing episode occurred at 5.55 ± 2.87 months of age. Among the 715 infants with a history of wheezing, the first episode occurred within the first six months of life in 479 (66.99%), and 372 (52.03%) had had three or more episodes. Factors associated with wheezing in general were pneumonia; oral corticosteroid use; a cold; attending daycare; having a parent with asthma or allergies; mother working outside the home; male gender; no breastfeeding; and mold. Factors associated with WBS were a cold; physician-diagnosed asthma; ER visits; corticosteroid use; pneumonia; bronchitis; dyspnea; attending daycare; bronchodilator use; having a parent with asthma; no breastfeeding; mother working outside the home; and a dog in the household. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of wheezing in the studied population was high (56.34%). The etiology was multifactorial, and the risk factors were intrinsic and extrinsic (respiratory tract infections, allergies, attending daycare, and early wheezing). The high prevalence and the intrinsic risk factors indicate the need and the opportunity for epidemiological and genetic studies in this population. In addition, mothers should be encouraged to prolong breastfeeding and to keep infants under six months of age out of daycare.

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  • Hamilton Rosendo Fogaça

  • Fernando Augusto de Lima Marson

  • Adyléia Aparecida Dalbo Contrera Toro

  • Dirceu Solé

  • José Dirceu Ribeiro

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