Issue: October 2011
October 01, 2011
1 min read

Preterm birth potential risk factor for asthma

Goyal NK. Pediatrics. 2011;doi:10.1542/peds.2011-0809.

Issue: October 2011
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Preterm birth may be a risk factor for asthma later in life, according to a study published online this week.

Neera K. Goyal, MD, of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study that used electronic health record data from 31 practices. The researchers included about 8,000 patients, and of those, 8.3% had been diagnosed with asthma by 18 months of age.

According to the study, children who were considered born at late-preterm gestation (34 to 36 completed gestational weeks) had significant increases in persistent asthma diagnoses (adjusted OR=1.68), inhaled corticosteroid use (adjusted OR=1.66), and numbers of acute respiratory visits (incidence rate ratio=1.44). The researchers said low-normal gestation was also associated with increased asthma diagnoses and inhaled corticosteroid use.

They said there were some study limitations, including missing data on prenatal and postnatal risk factors and regression adjustment for nonrandomization, but they added that their findings merit further study on factors that may predispose this population to asthma later on.

“Our findings suggest that the impact of late prematurity on health and health care utilization extends beyond the neonatal period and into the second year of life,” the researchers concluded.

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.

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