Long-term consequences of respiratory disease in infancy.


In a study of Kent schoolchildren it has been shown that those who had a history of bronchitis under the age of five were more likely to have reported respiratory symptoms as the age of 11 (Bland et al., 1974). After this finding, it was necessary to test whether these differences would continue or diminish as the children grew older. One thousand three hundred schoolchildren in four areas of Kent were studied by physical examination and parental questionnaire at the ages of 5, 11, and 14. The relative risk of having reported respiratory symptoms for children with a history of early bronchitis, asthma, or pneumonia, compared with other children, was the same at the age of 14 as it was at the age of 11. These relationships could not be explained by social class effects, and were probably not due to parental bias in reporting.

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