Navigation Links
Study finds link between birth order and asthma symptoms

May 7, 2008 Among four year-olds attending Head Start programs in New York City, those who had older siblings were more likely to experience respiratory symptoms including an episode of wheezing in the past year than those who were oldest or only children. Children with at least two older siblings were also 50% more likely than other children to have gone to an emergency department or been hospitalized overnight for breathing problems. These findings from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health were recently pre-published online in the journal Clinical and Experimental Allergy.

Our findings support the hypothesis that having older siblings increases a childs risk of exposure to infectious agents before age two years, and in turn increases the childs risk for wheezing, said Matthew Perzanowski, PhD, assistant professor of Environmental Health Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health and the lead author of the paper. Some studies have found that having older siblings increases the risk of wheeze in babies and toddlers. Our findings are novel in that we found that among the four year-olds in this study, the pattern was the same as has been observed in younger children elsewhere.

The children in the study were selected for participation because they attended Head Start programs in neighborhoods with the highest rates of childhood asthma hospitalization in New York City.

One possible explanation for the association is that children with older siblings have more exposure to respiratory infections at an early age than oldest or only children. Respiratory infections are a common cause of wheezing in very young children. This study shows that children with older siblings may be appropriate targets for interventions to reduce the risk of infections that may lead to hospitalization.

Previous findings of the opposite association between asthma and birth order among older children and adults have served as the basis for what is called the hygiene hypothesis, the idea that exposure to infectious agents at a very young age reduces the risk of asthma in the long term. Only by continuing to follow these children can we determine whether and how birth order predicts diagnosed asthma and asthma that persists throughout childhood, noted Inge Goldstein, DrPH, a senior lecturer in the Mailman Schools Department of Epidemiology and senior author of the study.

But even if the patterns of association change as the children grow, we have learned from this study that four year-olds with older siblings are more likely than other four year-olds to experience respiratory symptoms that burden them and their families and impose the costs of care on them and the community, commented Judith Jacobson, DrPH, associate professor of clinical Epidemiology at the Mailman School and principal investigator of the study, which was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

In this study, the prevalence of recent wheeze was higher among boys than girls (32% vs 21%) and higher among children with an asthmatic parent than other children (53% vs 22%). Having younger siblings, unlike having older siblings, was not associated with respiratory symptoms. The associations of birth order with respiratory symptoms were statistically significant only among those children who were not atopic (allergic) and among those without an asthmatic parent.


Contact: Stephanie Berger
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health

Related medicine news :

1. Penn study finds pro-death proteins required to regulate healthy immune function
2. New study shows promise in reducing surgical risks associated with surgical bleeding
3. Study, meta-analysis examine factors associated with death from heatstroke
4. Study suggests loss of 2 types of neurons -- not just 1 -- triggers Parkinsons symptoms
5. Study says COPD testing is not measuring up
6. Preclinical study suggests organ-transplant drug may aid in lupus fight
7. Ability to cope with stress can increase good cholesterol in older white men, study finds
8. High alcohol consumption increases stroke risk, Tulane study says
9. Mailman School of Public Health study examines link between racial discrimination and substance use
10. Pitt study finds inequality in tobacco advertising
11. Stanford study highlights cost-effective method of lowering heart disease risks
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... American Express Travel Representative. As a franchise owner, Somu now offers travelers, value ... cruise, destination wedding packages, private cruise sales, as well as, cabin upgrades and ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , ... November 26, 2015 , ... PRMA Plastic Surgery ... 19, 2015, our surgeons performed their 6,000th free flap breast reconstruction surgery! , “What ... up every day excited to rebuild lives and it’s an honor to have served ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Health-E-minds ... collaborated with Women’s Web – an online resource for Indian women looking ... and emotional well-being relationship, life balance, stress, professional development, and lifestyle. Health-E-minds ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... accessible for all, Water For Empowerment ™ attracts volunteers together who want ... water by empowering women as key stakeholders in the process. The non-profit launched ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Neb. (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... staffing companies, has been recognized once again for its stellar workplace culture with ... to Work.” , Medical Solutions’ Cincinnati office was named a finalist ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... --> adds "Global ... and "Investigation Report on China Repaglinide ... 2021 forecasts data and information to ... . --> ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... DUBLIN , Nov. 26, 2015 ... the addition of the "2016 Future Horizons ... Monitoring (TDM) Market: Supplier Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, ... offering. --> ... comprehensive analysis of the Italian therapeutic drug monitoring ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the addition of the  "2016 ... the European Cell Surface Marker Testing ... Opportunities"  report to their offering.  ... the addition of the  "2016 Future ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: