The relationship between pneumonia in early childhood and impaired lung function in late adult life

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1994 Mar;149(3 Pt 1):616-9. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.149.3.8118627.


This study related respiratory illness documented in the first 2 yr of life to the lung function of 618 men and women with a mean age of 70 yr living in Derbyshire, England. Pneumonia before 2 yr of age was associated with a lower mean FEV1, adjusted for age and height. In men, the difference was -0.65L (95% CI: -1.02, -0.29; p = 0.0005). This estimate did not diminish after adjustment for smoking and asthma. In women, the reduction in mean FEV1 associated with pneumonia before 2 yr of age was smaller and nonsignificant. Bronchitis, measles, and whooping cough before 2 yr of age were not associated with diminished adult lung function in either sex. The findings in men support a causal relationship between pneumonia in early childhood and COPD in late adult life.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Causality
  • Child, Preschool
  • England / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / diagnosis
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / epidemiology*
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / etiology*
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Pneumonia / complications*
  • Sex Factors
  • Vital Capacity