Number of children in the household influences respiratory morbidities in children with bronchopulmonary dysplasia in the outpatient setting.

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DOI: 10.1002/ppul.26747


BACKGROUND: Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), a common complication of prematurity, is associated with outpatient morbidities, including respiratory exacerbations. Daycare attendance is associated with increased rates of acute and chronic morbidities in children with BPD. We sought to determine if additional children in the household conferred similar risks for children with BPD.

METHODS: The number of children in the household and clinical outcomes were obtained via validated instruments for 933 subjects recruited from 13 BPD specialty clinics in the United States. Clustered logistic regression models were used to test for associations.

RESULTS: The mean gestational age of the study population was 26.5 ± 2.2 weeks and most subjects (69.1%) had severe BPD. The mean number of children in households (including the subject) was 2.1 ± 1.3 children. Each additional child in the household was associated with a 13% increased risk for hospital admission, 13% increased risk for antibiotic use for respiratory illnesses, 10% increased risk for coughing/wheezing/shortness of breath, 14% increased risk for nighttime symptoms, and 18% increased risk for rescue medication use. Additional analyses found that the increased risks were most prominent when there were three or more other children in the household.

CONCLUSIONS: We observed that additional children in the household were a risk factor for adverse respiratory outcomes. We speculate that secondary person-to-person transmission of respiratory viral infections drives this finding. While this risk factor is not easily modified, measures do exist to mitigate this disease burden. Further studies are needed to define best practices for mitigating this risk associated with household viral transmission.

Journal Title

Pediatric pulmonology





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MeSH Keywords

Infant, Newborn; Child; Humans; Infant; Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia; Outpatients; Surveys and Questionnaires; Infant, Premature; Hospitalization


acute care use; bronchopulmonary dysplasia; outpatient; siblings; symptoms

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