Correlates of recurrent wheezing in school-age children. The Physicians of Raleigh Pediatric Associates

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1995 Jun;151(6):1786-93. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.151.6.7767521.


Correlates of recurrent wheezing were examined in a case-control study involving 343 children ranging from 7 to 12 yr of age and recruited from a general pediatric practice. Positive skin tests for allergy were observed in 35% of a random sample of children without recurrent wheezing, and in 77% and 90% of children who had experienced from two to four episodes and five or more episodes, respectively, of recent wheezing. By logistic regression analysis, sensitization to dust mite (odds ratio [OR]: 5.2; 95% CI: 3.0 to 9.0), cat (OR: 15.5; 95% CI: 3.4 to 70.8), and Alternaria (OR: 6.8; 95% CI: 2.1 to 21.5) antigens was consistently associated with recurrent wheezing. Sensitization to pollen antigen(s), observed in 60% of allergic children, was not associated with wheezing. A family history of asthma was a significant predictor of recurrent wheezing (OR: 3.2; 95% CI: 1.7 to 5.9) after adjusting for its association with positive skin tests. Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure was associated with an increased risk of recurrent wheezing in nonallergic children and in allergic females, but not in allergic males. ETS exposure was not associated with positive skin tests for allergy. A history of wheezing with respiratory illness before 2 yr of age was associated with a modest risk of recurrent wheezing between 7 and 12 yr of age (OR: 2.3; 95% CI: 1.2 to 4.6), a risk that did not differ by allergic status or gender. Theoretically, the prevalence of recurrent wheezing in this population could be reduced approximately 65% by controlling exposure to indoor allergens and ETS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / adverse effects
  • Asthma / epidemiology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / epidemiology*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • North Carolina / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Recurrence
  • Respiratory Sounds*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sampling Studies
  • Skin Tests
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects


  • Allergens
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution