Abstract We examined temporal dependencies between repeated assessments of respiratory infections and asthma in children in the Leicester Respiratory Cohort, Leicestershire, UK. Asthma (doctor diagnosis, health care visits, wheeze frequency) and respiratory infections (cold duration and frequency, cough with colds, ear infections) in the previous 12 months were assessed repeatedly at ages 1, 4, and 6 years for children born between April 1996 and April 1997. We determined associations between contemporaneous and lagged measures of asthma and respiratory infections using structural equation modelling. In 1995 children, asthma was positively associated with contemporaneous infections. Asthma at age 6 was positively associated with asthma at age 4 (regression coefficient = 0.87; 95% CI 0.76, 0.97), but not with asthma at age 1 (-0.01; -0.14, 0.11). We found no evidence for direct protective effect of infections at age 1 on asthma either at age 4 (-0.20; -0.51, 0.10) or 6 (0.24; -0.04, 0.52). Adjusting for potential confounders did not qualitatively change those relationships. Our findings suggest that asthma at age 6 is directly influenced by asthma history and only indirectly if, at all, by earlier infection episodes. We found little support for a protective effect of preschool infections on asthma at early school age. Asthma in children – respiratory infections – longitudinal structural equation modelling The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact email@example.com.
American Journal of Epidemiology – Oxford University Press
Published: Mar 13, 2018
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