Age and the impacts of triggers in childhood asthma

J Asthma. 1998;35(2):213-7. doi: 10.3109/02770909809068209.


This study examined the relationships among age (2-20 years) and the impacts of 12 common triggers in episodes of childhood asthma. The triggers were: air pollution, allergy problems, cigarette smoke, stress or worry, anger, excitement, laughter, high/low environmental temperature, high humidity, respiratory infection, nighttime hours, and physical activity. Data were analyzed from families with asthmatic children (n = 119) as part of a larger study of biological and psychosocial factors in asthma and other illnesses. Positive correlations were found for age and the trigger impacts of allergy problems (p = 0.025) and physical activity (p = 0.004); negative correlations were found for age and the trigger impacts of nighttime hours (p = 0.002) and respiratory infection (p = 0.002). Age was also negatively correlated with the frequency of recent respiratory infections (p = 0.000) and positively correlated with the intensity of hay fever episodes (p = 0.047). These findings indicate that as children with asthma get older, their asthma episodes are more likely to be influenced by allergy problems and physical activity, and less likely to be associated with nighttime hours and respiratory infections.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Aging
  • Asthma / epidemiology
  • Asthma / etiology*
  • Asthma / immunology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Exercise
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Infant