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Poverty, dirt, infections and non-atopic wheezing in children from a Brazilian urban center

BACKGROUND: The causation of asthma is poorly understood. Risk factors for atopic and non-atopic asthma may be different. This study aimed to analyze the associations between markers of poverty, dirt and infections and wheezing in atopic and non-atopic children. METHODS: 1445 children were recruited from a population-based cohort in Salvador, Brazil. Wheezing was assessed using the ISAAC questionnaire and atopy defined as allergen-specific IgE [greater than or equal to]0.70 kU/L. Relevant social factors, environmental exposures and serological markers for childhood infections were investigated as risk factors using multivariate multinomial logistic regression. RESULTS: Common risk factors for wheezing in atopic and non-atopic children, respectively, were parental asthma and respiratory infection in early childhood. No other factor was associated with wheezing in atopic children. Factors associated with wheezing in non-atopics were low maternal educational level (OR 1.49, 95% CI 0.98-2.38), low frequency of room cleaning (OR 2.49, 95% CI 1.27- 4.90), presence of rodents in the house (OR 1.48, 95% CI 1.06-2.09), and day care attendance (OR 1.52, 95% CI 1.01-2.29). CONCLUSIONS: Non-atopic wheezing was associated with risk factors indicative of poverty, dirt and infections. Further research is required to more precisely define the mediating exposures and the mechanisms by which they may cause non-atopic wheeze. Respiratory Research. 2010;11:167.

Author: Barreto ML, Cunha SS, Fiaccone R, Esquivel R, Amorim LD, Alvim S, Prado M, Cruz AA, Cooper PJ, Santos DN, Strina A, Alcantara-Neves N, Rodrigues LC

Published: 01/02/2010

Publication Type: Journal article

Publisher: Respiratory Research