Bronchial asthma after early childhood wheezing: a follow-up until 4.5-6 years of age

Acta Paediatr. 1994 Jul;83(7):744-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.1994.tb13131.x.


Over a period of 12 months from 1981 to 1982, 83 patients aged less than 2 years were treated in hospital for acute bronchiolitis. The children were followed-up prospectively; 68 (83%) completed the study until 4.5-6.0 years of age. At this age, 17 (25%) of the 68 children with bronchiolitis still suffered from wheezing attacks. These 17 asthmatics suffered from both atopic dermatitis (29 versus 6%) and allergic rhinitis (29 versus 8%) more frequently than non-asthmatic children. In contrast, positive results in the skin prick tests were almost equally common (29 and 20%) in asthmatic and non-asthmatic children. In these tests, allergies to birch pollen, timothy grass pollen and house dust mite were most common; asthma was particularly associated with house dust mite allergy. The presence of atopic dermatitis, elevated immunoglobulin E values and repeated wheezing episodes between 1 and 2 years of age were significant risk factors for later asthma. In conclusion, the risk for later asthma is increased after early childhood bronchiolitis; the frequency of asthma was 25% in the present study. Our results confirm that atopics are at a greater risk of developing asthma later in childhood than non-atopics; the risk was significant from 1 year of age onwards.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Age Factors
  • Asthma / diagnosis
  • Asthma / epidemiology*
  • Asthma / etiology*
  • Bronchiolitis / blood
  • Bronchiolitis / complications*
  • Bronchiolitis / physiopathology
  • Bronchiolitis / therapy
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / epidemiology
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / etiology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Infant
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Respiratory Sounds*
  • Rhinitis / epidemiology
  • Rhinitis / etiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Skin Tests


  • Immunoglobulin E