British Lung Foundation

Respiratory tract infections in young children linked to asthma and worse lung function in later life

Respiratory tract infections in young children are linked to an increased risk of asthma and worse lung function in later life, according to new research to be presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress today (Sunday).

An international study of 154,942 European children found that those who had had upper respiratory infections, such as colds, sinusitis, laryngitis, tonsillitis, pharyngitis and otitis, by the age of five years had a 1.5-fold increased risk of developing asthma in later life. Children who had suffered from lower respiratory tract infections, such as bronchitis, bronchiolitis, pneumonia and general chest infections, had a two- to four-fold increased risk of developing asthma in later life and were also more likely to have worse lung function.

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