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Respiratory status and allergy nine to 10 years after acute bronchiolitis
  1. V Noble,
  2. M Murray,
  3. M S C Webb,
  4. J Alexander,
  5. A S Swarbrick,
  6. A D Milner
  1. Department of Child Health, University Hospital, Nottingham
  1. Professor A D Milner, Department of Paediatrics, St Thomas’s Hospital,United Medical and Dental School, London SE1 7EH.


In order to evaluate further the relationship between acute bronchiolitis in infancy and subsequent respiratory problems, children prospectively followed up from the time of their admission to hospital were reviewed along with a group of matched controls recruited at the previous five and a half year assessment. Sixty one index children and 47 controls took part. The groups were well matched for age, height, parental smoking, and social class. Although the prevalence of respiratory symptoms had fallen when related to the previous review, there remained an excess of coughing (48 and 17% in index and control children respectively; odds ratio 4.02) and wheezing (34 and 13% in index and control children respectively; odds ratio 3.59). Bronchodilator therapy was used by 33% of index children compared with 3% of controls. Lung function tests revealed no significant differences in the measurements of lung growth—for example, forced vital capacity, functional residual capacity, and total lung capacity—but the index children had significant reductions in measurements of airways obstruction—for example, forced expiratory volume in one second, maximum expiratory flow at 75, 50 and 25% of vital capacity, and airways resistance. Family history and personal skin tests showed no excess of atopy in the index group. This study supports the claim that the excess respiratory symptoms after acute bronchiolitis are not due to familial or personal susceptibility to atopy.

  • bronchiolitis
  • respiratory status
  • allergy

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