Rapid weight gain in early life is associated with severity of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) bronchiolitis in children

Allergol Immunopathol (Madr). 2021 Mar 1;49(2):23-30. doi: 10.15586/aei.v49i2.51. eCollection 2021.


Objectives: This study aimed to investigate whether rapid weight gain in early life was associated with the severity of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) bronchiolitis in children.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 190 patients (1-24 months) hospitalized for RSV bronchiolitis. Parameters of bronchiolitis severity were compared between rapid (change in weight z-score from birth >0.67, n = 65) and normal weight gain groups (n = 125). We assessed for correlations between bronchiolitis severity and weight gain. Linear regression was performed to predict for bronchiolitis severity based on weight gain, controlling for covariates. SPSS was used for statistical analyses.

Results: The rapid weight gain group had longer mean durations of tachypnea (2.3±2.0 vs. 1.7±1.8 days, P = 0.027), wheezing (3.2±2.5 vs. 1.6±1.8 days, P < 0.001), and chest retractions (1.5±2.2 vs. 0.6±1.3 days, P = 0.007). Correlations of weight gain with tachypnea (r = 0.146), wheezing (r = 0.279), and chest retractions (r = 0.179) were statistically significant. Weight gain predicted for tachypnea (B = 0.485, P = 0.013) and wheezing (B = 0.846, P = 0.001) durations after adjusting for covariates of severity (age, sex, current weight, RSV type, coinfection, recurrent bronchiolitis, hospital stay, fever, oxygen supplementation, maximal respiratory and heart rates, and laboratory indices).

Conclusions: Our findings suggest an association between weight gain and severity of RSV bronchiolitis in young children. Weight gain was significantly associated with the durations of tachypnea and wheezing. The trajectory of weight gain in early life may play a significant role in the clinical course of RSV bronchiolitis.

Keywords: bronchiolitis; obesity; respiratory syncytial virus; weight gain; wheezing.

MeSH terms

  • Bronchiolitis / diagnosis*
  • Bronchiolitis / immunology
  • Bronchiolitis / virology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections / immunology
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections / virology
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human / immunology*
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human / isolation & purification
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Weight Gain / immunology*