Revista de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0034-8910
PEREIRA, Júlio C. R. and ESCUDER, Maria Mercedes L.. Susceptibility of asthmatic children to respiratory infection. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 1997, vol.31, n.5, pp. 441-447. ISSN 0034-8910. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89101997000600001.
OBJECTIVE: A case-control study of patients with pneumonia was conducted to investigate whether wheezing diseases could be a risk factor. METHODS: A random sample was taken from a general university hospital in S. Paulo City between March and August 1994 comprising 51 cases of pneumonia paired by age and sex to 51 non-respiratory controls and 51 healthy controls. Data collection was carried out by two senior paediatricians. Diagnoses of pneumonia and presence of wheezing disease were independently established by each paediatrician for both cases and controls. Pneumonia was radiologically confirmed and repeatability of information on wheezing diseases was measured. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify risk factors. RESULTS: Wheezing diseases, interpreted as proxies of asthma, were found to be an important risk factor for pneumonia with an odds ratio of 7.07 (95%CI= 2.34-21.36), when the effects of bedroom crowding (odds ratio = 1.49 per person, 95%CI= 0.95-2.32) and of low family income (odds ratio = 5.59 against high family income, 95%CI= 1.38-22.63) were controlled. The risk of pneumonia attributable to wheezing diseases is tentatively calculated at 51.42%. CONCLUSION: It is concluded that at practice level asthmatics should deserve proper surveillance for infection and that at public health level pneumonia incidence could be reduced if current World Health Organisation's guidelines were reviewed as to include comprehensive care for this illness.
Keywords : Asthma [complications]; Pneumonia; Case-control studies.