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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


PRIETSCH, Silvio Omar Macedo et al. Risk factors for recurrent wheezing in children under 13 years old in the South of Brazil. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2006, vol.20, n.5, pp.331-337. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVE: To study the prevalence of and major factors associated with recurrent wheezing in children younger than 13 years of age in the urban area of Rio Grande, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. METHODS: The presence of recurrent wheezing was investigated in a cohort as part of a cross-sectional study that was begun in 1997 that focused on the morbidity from respiratory diseases in children then between 0 and 5 years of age. During home visits in 2004 a standardized questionnaire given by trained interviewers was used to obtain information concerning the family's socioeconomic and living conditions, maternal care during pregnancy and delivery, and children's current and previous morbidity patterns. The statistical analysis included the calculation of the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI), with nonconditional logistic regression adjustment for potential confounding factors, according to a predefined hierarchical model. RESULTS: Of the 775 children studied in 1997, 685 were located in 2004 (loss of 11.6%). In this group, the prevalence of recurrent wheezing at the time of the interview was 27.9%. After adjustment, the risk factors were: current rhinitis (OR = 45.7; 95% CI: 24.2 to 86.5), use of wood stove for cooking (OR = 2.7; 95% CI: 1.4 to 4.9), child's history of acute respiratory infection (OR = 2.1; 95% CI: 1.3 to 3.5), bottle feeding (OR = 2.1; 95% CI: 1.1 to 3.8), history of asthma in siblings (OR = 1.9; 95% CI: 1.2 to 3.2), maternal history of asthma (OR = 1.8; 95% CI: 1.1 to 2.9), and fewer than six prenatal medical consultations (OR = 1.6; 95% CI: 1.1 to 2.4). Paternal schooling < 9 years was a protective factor against recurrent wheezing (OR = 0.6; 95% CI: 0.4 to 0.9). CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that the management of recurrent wheezing and asthma must consider checking for and simultaneously treating rhinitis. The measures to minimize the effects of recurrent wheezing should include educational and treatment programs focusing on asthma.

Keywords : Asthma; child; epidemiology; risk factors; respiratory sounds; Brazil.

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