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Ambul Pediatr. 2002 Jul-Aug;2(4):261-7.

Is there a common cold constitution?

Author information

  • 1Department of Pediatrics and the Steele Memorial Children's Research Center, University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson 85724-5073, USA. tball@u.arizona.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Constitutional factors might play a role in the susceptibility to clinical illness during the common cold. This study seeks to determine if the likelihood of developing frequent common colds persists during childhood.

DESIGN:

The Tucson Children's Respiratory Study involves 1246 children enrolled at birth and followed prospectively since 1980 and 1984. Parents reported the occurrence of frequent (> or =4) colds during the past year by questionnaire at 2, 3, 6, 8, 11, and 13 years of age. Blood for ex vivo interferon-gamma responses was obtained at 9 months and 11 years of age.

RESULTS:

After adjustment for potential confounding variables, children with frequent colds at year 2 or 3 were twice as likely to experience frequent colds at year 6 (relative risk [RR], 2.8; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.1-3.9), year 8 (RR, 2.6; 95% CI, 2.1-3.3), year 11 (RR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.8-3.1), and year 13 (RR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.4-3.3) compared with children who had infrequent colds at years 2 and 3. At 9 months of age, children who ultimately experienced persistent frequent colds had lower interferon-gamma titers than children without persistent frequent colds (3.05 +/- 1.61 vs 3.74 +/- 1.39, P =.016); this finding persisted at 11 years of age.

CONCLUSION:

These data suggest the existence of a common cold constitution, whereby some children are more susceptible to infection and/or the expression of clinical symptoms when infected than are other children.

PMID:
12135399
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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