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Publication Detail

Title: Family history and the risk of early-onset persistent, early-onset transient, and late-onset asthma.

Authors: London, S J; James Gauderman, W; Avol, E; Rappaport, E B; Peters, J M

Published In Epidemiology, (2001 Sep)

Abstract: Family history of asthma and allergies strongly influences asthma risk in children, but the association may differ for early-onset persistent, early-onset transient, and late-onset asthma. We analyzed the relation between family history and these types of asthma using cross-sectional data from a school-based study of 5,046 Southern California children. Parental and/or sibling history of asthma and allergy were generally more strongly associated with early-onset persistent asthma compared with early-onset transient or late-onset asthma. For children with two asthmatic parents relative to those with none, the prevalence ratio for early-onset persistent asthma was 12.1 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 7.91-18.7] compared with 7.51 (95% CI = 2.62-21.5) for early-onset transient asthma and 5.38 (95% CI = 3.40-8.50) for late-onset asthma. Maternal smoking in pregnancy was predominantly related to the risk of early-onset persistent asthma in the presence of parental history of allergy and asthma, and the joint effects were more than additive (interaction contrast ratio = 3.10, 95% CI = 1.45-4.75). Our results confirm earlier data that parental history of asthma and allergy is most strongly associated with early-onset persistent asthma and suggest that among genetically predisposed children, an early-life environmental exposure, maternal smoking during pregnancy, favors the development of early-onset asthma that persists into later early childhood.

PubMed ID: 11505179 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Adolescent; Asthma/classification; Asthma/epidemiology*; Asthma/etiology; Asthma/genetics; California/epidemiology; Child; Family; Female; Genetic Predisposition to Disease*; Humans; Male; Maternal-Fetal Exchange; Pregnancy; Prevalence; Risk Factors; Smoking/adverse effects*

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