Send to

Choose Destination
J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2015 Sep;136(3):581-587.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2015.05.005. Epub 2015 Jun 24.

Early-term birth is a risk factor for wheezing in childhood: A cross-sectional population study.

Author information

Department of Child Health, Cardiff University School of Medicine, Cardiff, United Kingdom.
NHS Wales Informatics Service, Cardiff, United Kingdom.
Department of Child Health, Cardiff University School of Medicine, Cardiff, United Kingdom. Electronic address:



Early term-born (37-38 weeks' gestation) infants have increased respiratory morbidity during the neonatal period compared with full term-born (39-42 weeks' gestation) infants, but longer-term respiratory morbidity remains unclear.


We assessed whether early term-born children have greater respiratory symptoms and health care use in childhood compared with full term-born children.


We surveyed 1- to 10-year-old term-born children (n = 13,361). Questionnaires assessed respiratory outcomes with additional data gathered from national health databases.


Of 2,845 eligible participants, 545 were early term-born and 2,300 were full term-born. Early term-born children had higher rates of admission to the neonatal unit (odds ratio [OR], 1.7; 95% CI, 1.2-2.5) and admission to the hospital during their first year of life (OR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.2-2.1). Forty-eight percent of early term-born children less than 5 years old reported wheeze ever compared with 39% of full term-born children (OR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.1-1.9), and 26% versus 17% reported recent wheezing (OR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.3-2.4). Early term-born children older than 5 years reported higher rates of wheeze ever (OR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.05-1.8) and recent wheezing over the last 12 months than full-term control subjects (OR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.02-2.0). Increased rates of respiratory symptoms in early term-born children persisted when family history of atopy and delivery by means of cesarean sections were included in logistic regression models.


Early term-born children had significantly increased respiratory morbidity and use of health care services when compared with full term-born children, even when stratified by mode of delivery and family history of atopy.


Cesarean section; asthma; atopy; bronchodilators; gestational age; wheezing

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center