Risk factors for wheezing in Ukrainian children: Ukraine European Longitudinal Study of Pregnancy and Childhood Group.Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2009 Jul; 23(4):346-51.PP
The prevalence of wheezing in children varies widely around the world. The reasons for this geographic variability remain unclear but may be related in part to exposures in the home environment during pregnancy and early childhood. We investigated the prenatal and early childhood risk factors for wheezing symptoms among 2127 children aged 6-8 years who were participants in the Ukrainian component of the European Longitudinal Study of Pregnancy and Childhood (ELSPAC). Cases included the 169 children whose parents answered yes to the International Study of Asthma and Allergy in Children (ISAAC) question: 'Has your child had wheezing or whistling in the chest in the past 12 months' during the ELSPAC assessment of the children at age 7. These were compared with the 1861 children in the cohort whose parents answered 'no' to this question. Factors significantly associated with increased risk of wheezing illness at age 7 in adjusted analyses included mother's asthma [adjusted odds ratio (OR) 3.46, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.22, 9.85]; mother's allergy problems (OR 1.43, [1.00, 2.05]); rarely playing with other children at age 3 (OR 1.84, [1.09, 3.11]); water intrusion (OR 1.62, [1.09, 2.39]) and inadequate heating of the home (OR 1.52, [1.06, 2.16]) during pregnancy. Factors protective of wheezing at age 7 included being first-born (adjusted OR 0.70, 95% CI 0.50, 0.98); living in the city of Dniprodzerzynsk as compared with Kyiv (OR 0.36, [0.24, 0.54]) and weekly contact with furry animals (OR 0.44, [0.20, 0.97]) before age 3. The constellation of risk factors for wheezing in Ukrainian children is similar to that of children in other parts of the world. Known risk factors do not account for the significant between-city variability of wheezing in Ukrainian children.