Antecedent features of children in whom asthma develops during the second decade of life

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1993 Nov;92(5):744-9. doi: 10.1016/0091-6749(93)90018-b.


In this report we compare 36 subjects in whom asthma was first diagnosed between the ages of 10 and 20 with 297 control subjects. All subjects were studied at age 5 to 9. Among the subjects who acquired a new diagnosis of asthma (NDA), the diagnosis was usually preceded by lower respiratory tract symptoms (31 of the 36 subjects had respiratory symptoms or a diagnosis of rhinitis or chronic bronchitis before asthma developed). Among those tested, more of those with NDA had positive allergy skin test results (56.5%) before diagnosis than control subjects (29.6%; p < 0.05), and the subjects with NDA had higher levels of serum IgE than control subjects (mean log serum IgE = 2.27 in subjects with NDA, 1.76 in control subjects; p < 0.05). Pulmonary function tests revealed no significant differences in the groups before diagnosis. Using logistic regression, we determined that wheezing, cough, a diagnosis of chronic bronchitis, and a positive allergy skin test result were independent risk factors for asthma. When combinations of variables were used, subjects with wheezing and a positive allergy skin test result, cough and a positive test result, and also those with a prior diagnosis of chronic bronchitis alone were at highest risk of a subsequent diagnosis of asthma.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aging
  • Asthma / diagnosis
  • Asthma / epidemiology*
  • Asthma / etiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Risk Factors
  • Skin Tests
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors