What accounts for the association between late preterm births and risk of asthma?

Gretchen A. Voge, William A. Carey, Euijung Ryu, Katherine S. King, Chung Il Wi, Young J. Juhn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Although results of many studies have indicated an increased risk of asthma in former late preterm (LPT) infants, most of these studies did not fully address covariate imbalance. Objective: To compare the cumulative frequency of asthma in a population-based cohort of former LPT infants to that of matched term infants in their early childhood, when accounting for covariate imbalance. Methods: From a population-based birth cohort of children born 2002-2006 in Olmsted County, Minnesota, we assessed a random sample of LPT (34 to 36 6/7 weeks) and frequency-matched term (37 to 40 6/7 weeks) infants. The subjects were followed-up through 2010 or censored based on the last date of contact, with the asthma status based on predetermined criteria. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to estimate the cumulative incidence of asthma during the study period. Cox models were used to estimate the hazard ratio and 95% confidence interval for the risk of asthma, when adjusting for potential confounders. Results: LPT infants (n = 282) had a higher cumulative frequency of asthma than did term infants (n = 297), 29.9 versus 19.5%, respectively; p = 0.01. After adjusting for covariates associated with the risk of asthma, an LPT birth was not associated with a risk of asthma, whereas maternal smoking during pregnancy was associated with a risk of asthma. Conclusion: LPT birth was not independently associated with a risk of asthma and other atopic conditions. Clinicians should make an effort to reduce exposure to smoking during pregnancy as a modifiable risk factor for asthma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-156
Number of pages5
JournalAllergy and Asthma Proceedings
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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