Asthma is associated with preterm birth but not with small for gestational age status among a population-based cohort of Medicaid-enrolled children <10 years of age

Gessner, Bradford D.; Chimonas, Marc-Andre R.
March 2007
Thorax;Mar2007, Vol. 62 Issue 3, p231
Academic Journal
journal article
Background: Few population-based studies have evaluated the association between birth weight or gestation and subsequent clinically significant asthma.Methods: Birth records of 37 349 Alaska residents <10 years of age who were enrolled in Medicaid for at least 365 days during 1999-2002 were linked to a Medicaid billing file. The occurrence of asthma and lower respiratory infections during the study period was categorised on the basis of standard International Classification of Diseases 9th Revision codes. The association between gestational age or small for gestational age status and asthma outcomes was adjusted for recent history of lower respiratory infection, years of Medicaid enrolment, age at enrolment and a variety of birth-related factors.Results: Among children <5 years of age, the adjusted odds ratio (OR) for developing asthma decreased by 5.5% (95% confidence interval (CI) -0.2 to 10.9) and 7.9% (95% CI 5.2 to 10.4) per additional week of gestational age for children without and with any lower respiratory tract infection, respectively. For children > or =5 years of age, the adjusted OR for developing asthma decreased by 3.4% (95% CI -2.8 to 9.8) and 3.7% (95% CI -2.0 to 9.2) per additional week of gestation for those without and with lower respiratory tract infection, respectively. Among all children with asthma, the adjusted OR for hospitalisation due to asthma decreased by 6.9% (95% CI 2.1 to 11.5) for each additional week of gestational age. Small for gestational age status was not significantly associated with asthma outcomes.Conclusions: Preterm birth but not small for gestational age status predicted subsequent asthma outcomes. Adverse effects of preterm birth on asthma outcomes persist beyond age 5 years.


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