Timing of infection and development of wheeze, eczema, and atopic sensitization during the first 2 yr of life: the KOALA Birth Cohort Study

M.A.H. Mommers*, C.T.M. Thijs, F.F. Stelma, J. Penders, J. Reimerink, R. Van Ree, M. Koopmans

*Corresponding author for this work

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To investigate if infections in pregnancy and very early in life present a risk for wheezing, eczema, or atopic sensitization in later infancy. A total of 2319 children enrolled before birth in the KOALA Birth Cohort Study were followed during their first 2 yr of life using repeated questionnaires. Information was obtained on common colds, fever, and diarrhea with fever as well as on wheeze and eczema at ages 3 and 7 months and 1 and 2 yr, respectively. Blood samples were collected from 786 children at age 2 yr for specific immunoglobulin E analyses. Children with a common cold [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 2.03 95% CI 1.21-3.41] or fever episode (aOR 1.81 95% CI 1.10-2.96) in the first 3 months of life had a higher risk of new onset wheeze in the second year of life compared to children who had not. For children with diarrhea with fever in the first 3 months of life, the aOR for new onset wheeze in the second year of life was 3.94 (95% CI 1.36-11.40) compared to children without diarrhea. Infections becoming clinically manifest during the first 3 months of life may be a general marker for a wheezy phenotype.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)983-9
JournalPediatric Allergy and Immunology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010

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