Children who came down with pneumonia during infancy have a higher risk for asthma later in life.
“Few studies have assessed the association between pneumonia and asthma, and the data is largely based on old birth cohorts of children born in the ’60s to ’80s, which might not be representative of children today given the changes in socioeconomic status, child immunization programs and tobacco control that have occurred over the last decades,” Samuel Rhedin, PhD, from the department of medical epidemiology and biostatistics at Karolinska Institute and the Sachs Children and Youth Hospital, Stockholm, told Healio. “Further, there has been a discussion whether certain children have a genetic predisposition for both pneumonia and asthma.”
The nationwide register-based cohort analysis included 948,045 children (51.3% boys) from Sweden. Of those, 23,086 (2.4%) were diagnosed with pneumonia at age 2 years or younger. Pneumonia episodes were classified as occurring during the pre-pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) period or during the PCV period.
The primary outcome was the association between pneumonia diagnosis during infancy and asthma prevalence at age 4 years. The secondary outcome was the association between pneumonia diagnosis during infancy and asthma at age 4 years and if there were changes after introducing the PCV immunization.