Wheeze trajectories: Determinants and outcomes in the CHILD Cohort Study
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BACKGROUND: Wheezing in early life is associated with asthma in adulthood; however, the determinants of wheezing trajectories and their associations with asthma and lung function in childhood remain poorly understood. OBJECTIVE: In the CHILD Cohort Study, we aimed to identify wheezing trajectories and examine the associations between these trajectories, risk factors, and clinical outcomes at age 5 years. METHODS: Wheeze data were collected at 8 time points from 3 months to 5 years of age. We used group-based trajectory models to derive wheeze trajectories among 3154 children. Associations with risk factors and clinical outcomes were analyzed by weighted regression models. RESULTS: We identified 4 trajectories: a never/infrequent trajectory, transient wheeze, intermediate-onset (preschool) wheeze, and persistent wheeze. Higher body mass index was a common risk factor for all wheeze trajectories compared with that in the never/infrequent group. The unique predictors for specific wheeze trajectories included male sex, lower respiratory tract infections, and day care attendance for transient wheeze; paternal history of asthma, atopic sensitization, and child genetic risk score of asthma for intermediate wheeze; and maternal asthma for persistent wheeze. Blood eosinophil counts were higher in children with the intermediate wheeze trajectory than in those children with the other trajectories at the ages of 1 and 5 years. All wheeze trajectories were associated with decreased lung function and increased risk of asthma at age 5 years. CONCLUSIONS: We identified 4 distinct trajectories in children from 3 months to 5 years of age, reflecting different phenotypes of early childhood wheeze. These trajectories were characterized by different biologic and physiologic traits and risk factors.
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