2009-08-21Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.1515/JPM.2010.002
Antenatal steroid treatment reduces childhood asthma risk in very low birth weight infants without bronchopulmonary dysplasia
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) and very low birth weight (VLBW) are associated with increased incidences of asthma and pulmonary dysfunction in childhood. However, no studies exist which examine asthma risk factors in children who were VLBW infants and did not have BPD. To address this issue, we assessed the asthma incidence and risk factors for asthma in 117 children (approximate mean age of 5 years) who were VLBW [<1500 g, mean gestational age (GA): 30 weeks] infants without BPD. The risk factors were both perinatal (such as steroid treatment, mechanical ventilation, surfactant treatment) and environmental (parental smoking, pet adoption, etc). The asthma incidence was 18.8%. Following multivariate analysis, it was determined that a family history of atopy was a strong risk factor for childhood asthma. Maternal antenatal steroid treatment was associated with a significantly reduced risk for asthma. GA and birth weight were not predictive of childhood asthma. These findings indicate that a history of familial atopy and antenatal steroid treatment are positively and negatively associated (independent of BPD) with childhood asthma in VLBW infants. The finding regarding antenatal steroid treatment warrants more extensive investigations.
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