Age-related changes in childhood wheezing characteristics: A whole population study.

Jurca, Maja; Pescatore, Anina M.; Goutaki, Myrofora; Spycher, Ben D; Beardsmore, Caroline S; Kuehni, Claudia E (2017). Age-related changes in childhood wheezing characteristics: A whole population study. Pediatric pulmonology, 52(10), pp. 1250-1259. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1002/ppul.23783

Jurca PediatrPulmonol 2017_accepted manuscript.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (1MB) | Preview
[img] Text
Jurca PediatrPulmonol 2017.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (759kB) | Request a copy


Wheezing illnesses are characterized by phenotypic variability, which changes with age, but few studies report on a wide age range of children. We studied how prevalence, severity, and triggers of wheeze vary throughout childhood.


We analyzed data from a large population-based cohort of children from Leicestershire, UK, who were followed from infancy through late adolescence using postal questionnaires. We used generalized estimating equations to describe age-related changes in prevalence of any wheeze: episodic viral and multiple trigger wheeze; wheeze triggered by exercise, aeroallergens, food/drinks, laughing/crying; and of severe wheeze (frequent attacks, shortness of breath, sleep disturbance, disturbance of daily activities) from age 1-18 years. We analyzed this in the entire cohort (absolute prevalence) and separately among children with wheeze (relative prevalence).


This study included 7670 children. Current wheeze was most common in 1-year-olds (36%) and then decreased in prevalence to reach 17% in children aged 14-17 years. Absolute prevalence of episodic viral wheeze (EVW) decreased with age (from 24% to 7%), while multiple trigger wheeze (MTW) remained relatively constant throughout childhood (8-12%). Among children with wheeze, the proportion with EVW decreased, and the proportion with MTW increased with age. In older children, wheeze triggered by exercise or aeroallergens, and wheeze accompanied by shortness of breath became more frequent, while wheeze triggered by food or laughter, and sleep disturbance decreased in prevalence.


Knowledge of these age-related changes in wheezing illness is informative for health care planning and the design of future research projects and questionnaires.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Paediatric Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM)

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB)

UniBE Contributor:

Jurca, Maja, Pescatore, Anina, Goutaki, Myrofora, Spycher, Ben, Kühni, Claudia


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services








Anette van Dorland

Date Deposited:

05 Sep 2017 11:49

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:07

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Additional Information:

Jurca & Pescatore contributed equally to this work.

Uncontrolled Keywords:

cohort epidemiology; phenotypes; triggers; wheeze




Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback