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Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal:
doi: 10.1097/INF.0b013e3181b34e52
Original Studies

High Incidence of Recurrent Wheeze in Children With Down Syndrome With and Without Previous Respiratory Syncytial Virus Lower Respiratory Tract Infection

Bloemers, Beatrijs L.P. MD*; van Furth, A Marceline MD, PhD†; Weijerman, Michel E. MD†; Gemke, Reinoud J.B.J. MD, PhD†; Broers, Chantal J.M. MD†; Kimpen, Jan L.L. MD, PhD*; Bont, Louis MD, PhD*

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Background: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)-induced lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) is associated with the subsequent development of recurrent wheeze. In a recent study, we found a high incidence (9.9%) of hospitalization for RSV-induced LRTI among children with Down syndrome (DS), indicating DS as a new risk factor for RSV-induced LRTI. In the current study we aimed to investigate the development of long-term airway morbidity in children with DS after hospitalization for RSV-induced LRTI.

Methods: A combined retrospective cohort and prospective birth cohort of children with DS with a history of hospitalization for RSV-induced LRTI was studied (n = 53). Three control populations were included: children with DS without hospitalization for RSV-induced LRTI (n = 110), children without DS but with hospitalization for RSV-induced LRTI (n = 48), and healthy siblings of the previous 3 groups mentioned (n = 49). The primary outcome was physician-diagnosed wheeze up to 2 years of age.

Results: The incidence of physician-diagnosed recurrent wheeze in children with DS with a history of hospitalization for RSV-induced LRTI was 36%. Unexpectedly, up to 30% of children with DS without a history of RSV-induced LRTI had physician-diagnosed recurrent wheeze (no significant difference). In children without DS physician-diagnosed wheeze was found more frequently in children hospitalized for RSV-induced LRTI than healthy controls (31% vs. 8%, P = 0.004).

Conclusions: In this combined retrospective/prospective cohort study RSV-induced LRTI did not significantly contribute to the risk of recurrent wheeze in children with DS. An unexpected finding was that recurrent wheeze was very common among children with DS.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.


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