Methods: We identified children in the Cincinnati Childhood Allergy and Air Pollution Study birth cohort who completed SPT to four common indoor aeroallergens: cat, dog, dust mite(DM) and cockroach(CR) at ages 1, 2, 3 and 4 years. Children were defined as having asthma at age 7 by parental report of lower respiratory symptoms with confirmation by pre and post bronchodilator spirometry and/or methacholine testing. Unsupervised clustering techniques were used to identify groups of children having similar longitudinal patterns of aeroallergen sensitization.
Results: A total of 458 children were included in this analysis; of these 17% (n =78) were diagnosed with asthma at age 7. Five clusters of children based on SPT results were identified: non-atopic, cockroach-sensitized, persistent cat-sensitized, late persistent DM-sensitized and early transient DM-sensitized. Children in two clusters, persistent cat and early transient DM sensitization, were at significantly increased risk of developing asthma by age 7 (OR [95%CI] 2.6 [1.5-5.2] and 3.8 [1.5-8.8] respectively) compared to non-atopic children.
Conclusions: Children with persistent cat sensitization and early transient DM sensitization were significantly more likely to develop asthma by age 7; late DM and CR sensitization was not associated with asthma development. Longitudinal SPT may distinguish subgroups of allergic children at highest risk for developing asthma.