Respiratory morbidity in 334 patients aged 1 to 37 years with repaired oesophageal atresia and tracheo-oesophageal fistula is reported. Just under half the patients were subsequently hospitalised with respiratory illness. Two thirds of admissions were before 5 years of age. Five percent were admitted on more than five occasions. Patients with gastro-oesophageal reflux and low birth weight were more likely to be admitted. Thirty one percent of patients had one or more episodes of pneumonia in the first five years of life and 5% after 15 years. The prevalence of annual bouts of bronchitis in these age groups was 74% and 41% respectively. The prevalence of wheeze was about 40% in all age groups. Patients with symptoms persisting after 15 years were more likely to have had lower respiratory tract illness in early childhood and a history of atopy. In the 12 months before review, weekly episodes of wheezing were present in one third under 5 years and 15% over 15 years. Thirty two percent of patients aged 5-10 years and 8% over 15 years missed two or more weeks of school or work in the previous year with respiratory illness.
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