Methods: A total of 259 children were followed prospectively to age 6 years, and 217 were followed to age 13 years. A generalized additive logistic regression model (GAM) of asthma was fit for asthma diagnosed at ages 6, 8, 11, 13 years; with smooth terms for number of RV wheezing illnesses, number of non-RV wheezing illnesses, and their interaction. In the absence of significant interaction the main effect p-values are reported.
Results: The number of RV wheezing episodes in early childhood was significantly associated with asthma at all ages (6 years: p<0.0001; 8 years: p<0.0001; 11 years: p=0.0006; 13 years: p=0.002). The number of non-RV wheezing episodes was not significantly associated with asthma (6 years: p=0.06; 8 years: p=0.09; 11 years: p=0.06; 13 years: p=0.33).
Conclusions: RV wheezing illnesses remain an important predictor of asthma development in high-risk children and continued research efforts should focus on defining host and viral factors that promote wheezing RV illnesses in early childhood.