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Assessing the association between bronchiolitis in infancy and recurrent wheeze: a whole English birth cohort case–control study
  1. Robin Marlow,
  2. Adam Finn,
  3. John Henderson
  1. Population Health Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Robin Marlow, Population Health Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol BS2 8AE, UK; robin.marlow{at}


The precise association between bronchiolitis and predisposition to childhood wheeze is unclear. We assessed bronchiolitis aetiology and later wheeze phenotypes in the entire 2007 English birth cohort. All infants admitted to hospital in England during their first year of life with bronchiolitis or urinary tract infection (UTI) were followed using Hospital Episode Statistics to determine risk and characteristics of wheeze admission over the subsequent 8 years. In our cohort of 21 272 children compared with UTI, the risk of wheeze admission was higher with previous bronchiolitis (risk ratio (RR) 2.4), even higher in those with non-respiratory syncytial virus bronchiolitis (RR 3.1) and persisted into late-onset wheeze (RR 1.7).

  • asthma epidemiology
  • clinical epidemiology
  • respiratory infection
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  • Contributors RM contributed to the study design, analysis and authorship of the first draft. AF and JH critically appraised and developed the manuscript.

  • Funding RM is funded by the NIHR as an Academic Clinical Lecturer and is a member of the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Evaluation of Interventions at University of Bristol.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement The School of Social and Community Medicine (SSCM), University of Bristol, has a Data Sharing Agreement (DSA; NIC-1785-X7K1V) with the HSCIC for HES Admitted Patient Care (inpatient/day case) data for the financial years 2005/2006 to 2014/2015. The purchase of these data was funded by NIHR CLAHRC West. Copyright © 2018, re-used with the permission of The Health and Social Care Information Centre. All rights reserved. Our data access agreement with HSCIC does not allow distribution of source data, but extraction and analysis scripts are available on request. This work uses data provided by patients and collected by the NHS as part of their care and support and would not have been possible without access to these data. The NIHR recognises and values the role of patient data, securely accessed and stored, both in underpinning and leading to improvements in research and care.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

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