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J Asthma. 2018 Apr 9:1-11. doi: 10.1080/02770903.2018.1445268. [Epub ahead of print]

The effect of early child care attendance on childhood asthma and wheezing: A meta-analysis.

Author information

1
a Family Health Care Nursing , University of California San Francisco School of Nursing , San Francisco , CA , USA.
2
b Department of Testing Services , American Dental Association , Chicago , IL , USA.
3
c Psychiatry, University of California San Francisco , San Francisco , CA , USA.
4
d Pediatrics, University of California San Francisco , San Francisco , CA , USA.
5
e Institute for Health Policy Studies , University of California San Francisco , San Francisco , CA , USA.
6
f Pediatrics , University of Pittsburgh , Pittsburgh , PA , USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Research evidence offers mixed results regarding the relationship between early child care attendance and childhood asthma and wheezing. A meta-analysis was conducted to synthesize the current research evidence of the association between early child care attendance and the risk of childhood asthma and wheezing.

METHOD:

Peer reviewed studies published from 1964-January 2017 were identified in MEDLINE, CINAL, and EMBASE using MeSH headings relevant to child care and asthma. Two investigators independently reviewed the selected articles from this search. All relevant articles that met our inclusion criteria were selected for further analysis. Data were extracted from studies that had sufficient data to analyze the odds of asthma or wheezing among children who attended child care.

RESULTS:

The meta-analysis of 32 studies found that (1) early child care attendance is protective against asthma in children 3-5 years of age but not for children with asthma 6 years of age or older. (2) Early child care attendance increases the risk of wheezing among children 2 years of age or younger, but not the risk of wheezing for children over 2 years of age.

CONCLUSIONS:

This meta-analysis shows that early child care attendance is not significantly associated with the risk of asthma or wheeze in children 6 years of age or older.

KEYWORDS:

Environmental development; pediatrics; prevention; reviews

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