Associations between markers of respiratory morbidity in European children

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


School-aged children often experience acute respiratory symptoms. In a multicentre European study, the association between chronic respiratory symptoms (reported in a questionnaire), skin-prick test results, and lung function, and the occurrence of acute respiratory morbidity, was examined among children aged 6-12 yrs with chronic respiratory symptoms. Children with chronic respiratory symptoms, living in 10 European countries, were selected from a parent-completed questionnaire (n=4,307). Atopy was measured with skin-prick tests, and lung function with spirometry. A total of 1,854 (86%, of those in the initial cohort) children kept a successful daily diary regarding their respiratory symptoms for 2-3 months. In multivariate logistic regression analyses, children with asthmatic symptoms, particularly those with doctor-diagnosed asthma, had a greater risk of occurrence of lower respiratory symptoms (odds ratio (OR): 6.12; 95%, confidence interval (CI): 4.99-8.35) than children with a dry nocturnal cough as their only symptom. Atopy, particularly a positive reaction to indoor allergens, was significantly associated with occurrence of lower respiratory symptoms. For atopy the OR was 1.62 (95%, CI: 1.34-1.96). A reduced level of maximal mid-expiratory How was associated with an increased risk of lower respiratory symptoms, cough and phlegm. The associations were similar in Scandinavia, Central Eastern, Western and Southern Europe. To conclude, asthmatic symptoms reported in a questionnaire, atopic status and a reduced level of maximal mid-expiratory flow were associated with the occurrence of acute respiratory symptoms, especially those of lower respiratory symptoms.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Respiratory Medicine and Allergy


  • children, lung function, atopy, respiratory symptom
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-486
JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Publication categoryResearch