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Asia Pac Allergy. 2012 Jul;2(3):181-6. doi: 10.5415/apallergy.2012.2.3.181. Epub 2012 Jul 25.

House dust mite sensitization in toddlers predict persistent wheeze in children between eight to fourteen years old.

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1
Department of Paediatrics, National University Hospital Singapore, Singapore 119228, Singapore.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Identifying toddlers at increased risk of developing persistent wheeze provides an opportunity for risk-reducing interventions. House dust mite (HDM) allergen sensitization might identify this group of high-risk children.

OBJECTIVE:

We examined whether a positive skin prick test (SPT) to at least 1 of the 3 HDMs in wheezing toddlers, would serve as a predictor for persistent wheeze at age 8 to 14 years old.

METHODS:

A cohort of 78 children, who had wheezing episodes, and underwent SPT to 3 HDMs between the ages of 2 to 5 years old, were enrolled. SPT results were obtained from the National University Hospital database. Four to 9 years later, the children, currently between 8 to 14 years old, were re-assessed for persistence of asthma symptoms and other atopic disorders via a telephone interview. A validated questionnaire on current wheezing and asthma, developed by the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood, was used. Fisher's exact test was used to evaluate the association between persistence of asthma and a positive SPT.

RESULTS:

Of the 78 children who participated in the study, 42 (53.8%) had a positive SPT and 36 (46.2%) had a negative SPT. Of these, 18 (42.9%) of SPT positive and 7 (19.4%) of SPT negative children had persistence of asthma symptoms. There is a significant association between a positive SPT during the preschool years, and persistence of asthma (p = 0.0314 [<0.05]).

CONCLUSION:

HDM sensitization at ages 2 to 5 years old in wheezing children predicts persistence of asthma after 4 to 9 years. This in turn may have benefits for management of asthma in this high-risk group.

KEYWORDS:

Allergy; Asthma; Child; Dust mite; Skin tests; Wheezing

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