Atopic characteristics of children with recurrent wheezing at high risk for the development of childhood asthma

Author(s): Guilbert TW, Morgan WJ, Zeiger RS, Bacharier LB, Boehmer SJ, et al.

Abstract

Background:Few studies have characterized the atopic profile of toddler-aged children with recurrent wheezing at high risk of the development of persistent asthma. Objective We sought to determine the atopic profile of toddler-aged children with frequent wheeze at high risk for the development of persistent asthma who either had a parental history of asthma, a personal history of atopic dermatitis, or both.

Methods:Participants enrolled in the Prevention of Early Asthma in Kids study (n = 285) on the basis of a modified Asthma Predictive Index were characterized on the basis of allergy and asthma questionnaire responses and allergy skin puncture test results.

Results:The majority of the children (60.7%, n = 148) were sensitized to either food or aeroallergens. Male children were significantly more likely to be sensitized to aeroallergens ( P = .03) and to have a blood eosinophil level of 4% or greater ( P = .03) and a total serum IgE level of greater than 100 IU/mL ( P = .0004). Additionally, eosinophilia and total serum IgE level had the strongest correlation with aeroallergen sensitization.

Conclusion:The high prevalence of aeroallergen sensitization in this high-risk cohort suggests that aeroallergens might have an important role in the early development of asthma. As such, the Prevention of Early Asthma in Kids cohort appears to be an appropriate cohort in which to test whether early intervention with an inhaled corticosteroid can significantly attenuate, or perhaps even prevent, the allergic march from the initial stages of allergic sensitization to the subsequent development of asthma in toddlers with episodic wheezing.

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