Eur J Pediatr 2019 Apr 18. Epub 2019 Apr 18.
Paediatric Pneumology Unit, University Clinic Hospital, University of Valencia, Av Blasco Ibáñez, 17, 46010, Valencia, Spain.
Little is known about respiratory morbidity and asthma risk in preterm infants (PTIs) with a gestational age (GA) over 32 weeks. This was a prospective study carried out from birth to 7-8 years, comparing two groups: (a) PTIs (GAs 32 weeks + 1 day to 35 weeks + 0 days, without comorbidities) and (b) full-term infants (FTIs; GA ≥ 37 weeks). Risk and protective factors for bronchiolitis and asthma were identified. A total of 232 children (116/group) were included. Sixty-six (56.9%) PTIs and 43 (37.1%) FTIs presented bronchiolitis (p = 0.002). Recurrent wheezing was 52 (44.8%) on PTIs versus 36 (31.0%) on FTIs (p = 0.03). Asthma at school aged was 27 (23.3%) on PTIs and 8 (6.9%) on FTIs (p = 0.020). Asthma risk factors were only detected in group A.Conclusion: PTIs had a higher prevalence of bronchiolitis, recurrent wheezing and asthma; risk factors for asthma are the following: older siblings, allergic father, atopic dermatitis and antibiotic treatment in the first 3 years of life and prematurity itself, which also acted as protective factor for atopic dermatitis. What is known: • In recent decades, there has been a significant increase in the birth of premature babies and consequently, also in the pathologies secondary to the prematurity: a greater number of complications and disorders related to the development and maturation of many organs and systems, especially the respiratory system. Several studies, especially in full-term infants and very preterm infants, have tried to elucidate the risk factors that may influence the development of persistent or chronic respiratory problems such asasthma, but little is known about the aetiology of these disorders in the late or moderate preterm infants. Inthis group of children, the role played by certain factors (early use of antibiotics, chorioamnionitis, smokeexposure, paternal asthma, etc.) on late respiratory morbidity, or asthma, is inconclusive. • Moderate-to-late preterm infants are more predisposed to developing recurrent wheezing/asthma and should adopt control measures. What is new: • Our work provides data related to little-understood aspects of respiratory diseases in this group of late or moderate preterm infants (gestational age between 32 weeks plus 1 day and 35 weeks plus 0 days), by monitoring their evolution from birth to 7-8 years of age, compared with another group of full-term newborns. We aimed to establish the prevalence of bronchiolitis and recurrent wheezing in these children during their first years of life. • The prevalence of school-aged asthma and the risk factors for contracting it were also investigated.