The objectives of this study were to identify possible risk factors of bronchial hyperesponsiveness (BHR) in children up to 5 years of age with wheezing-associated respiratory infection (WARI), and to study the prevalence of BHR. Children up to 5 years of age with WARI were enrolled in the study. The parents or caregivers of children were asked about their demographic data and clinical histories. Physical examination and clinical score assessment were performed. Pulmonary function tests, i.e., tidal breathing flow volume (TBFV), were performed to measure tidal breathing parameters before and after salbutamol nebulization. If volume at peak tidal expiratory flow/expiratory tidal volume and time to peak expiratory flow/total expiratory time increased > or = 20%, or tidal expiratory flow at 25% of tidal volume/peak tidal expiratory flow increased > or = 20% after nebulization therapy, BHR was diagnosed. The number in the positive BHR group was used to calculate the prevalence of BHR, and clinical features were compared with those of the negative BHR group. Categorical data were analyzed for statistical significance (P < 0.05) by chi-square test or Fisher's exact test, or Student's t-test, as appropriate. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated for those with statistical significance. One hundred and six wheezing children underwent pulmonary function tests before and after salbutamol nebulization. With the aforementioned criteria, 41 cases (38.7%) were diagnosed with BHR. History of reactive airway disease, (OR, 6.31; 95% CI, 1.68-25), maternal history of asthma (OR, 3.45; 95% CI, 1.34-9), breastfeeding less than 3 months (OR, 3.18; 95% CI, 1.26-8.12), and passive smoking (OR, 3; 95% CI, 1.15-7.62) were significant risk factors of BHR. The eosinophil count was significantly higher in the BHR (+) group particularly, in children 1-5 years of age (P < or = 0.01). Patchy infiltrates were more commonly found in patients with negative BHR but not statistically significant. In conclusion, a history of reactive airway disease, maternal history, breastfeeding less than 3 months, and passive smoking were significant risk factors for BHR.
Copyright 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.