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Risk factors for wheezing in infants born in Cuba

Venero-Fernandez, S.J.; Suarez-Medina, R.; Mora-Faife, E.C.; Garcia-Garcia, G.; Valle-Infante, I.; Gomez-Marrero, L.; Abreu-Suarez, G.; Gonzalez-Valdez, J.; Dania Fabro-Ortiz, D.; Fundora-Hernandez, H.; Venn, A.; Britton, J.; Fogarty, Andrew W.


S.J. Venero-Fernandez

R. Suarez-Medina

E.C. Mora-Faife

G. Garcia-Garcia

I. Valle-Infante

L. Gomez-Marrero

G. Abreu-Suarez

J. Gonzalez-Valdez

D. Dania Fabro-Ortiz

H. Fundora-Hernandez

A. Venn

J. Britton

Andrew W. Fogarty


Background: Cuba is a unique country, and despite limited economic development, has an excellent health system. However, the prevalence of asthma symptoms in children in Havana, Cuba, is unusually high.

Aim: As early life exposures are critical to the aetiology of asthma, we have studied environmental influences on the risk of wheezing in Cuban infants.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Methods: A random sample of 2032 children aged 12–15 months living in Havana was selected for inclusion in the cohort. Data were collected using questionnaires administered by researchers.

Results: Of 2032 infants invited to participate, 1956 (96%) infants provided data. The prevalence of any wheeze was 45%, severe wheeze requiring use of emergency services was 30% and recurrent wheeze on three or more occasions was 20%. The largest adjusted risk factors for any wheeze were presence of eczema [odds ratio (OR) 2.09; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.48–2.94], family history of asthma (OR 2.05; 95% CI 1.60–2.62), poor ventilation in the house (OR 1.99; 95% CI 1.48–2.67), attendance at nursery (OR 1.78; 95% CI 1.24–2.57), male sex (OR1.52; 95% CI 1.19–1.96) and the number of smokers in the house (P < 0.03 for trend), OR 1.64 (95% CI 1.17–2.31) for three or more smokers in the house compared to no smokers in the household.

Conclusion: We have identified several risk factors for any wheeze in young infants living in modern day Cuba. As the prevalence of smoking in the house is high (51%), intervention studies are required to determine effective strategies to improve infant health.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Nov 11, 2013
Journal QJM: An International Journal of Medicine
Print ISSN 1460-2725
Electronic ISSN 1460-2725
Publisher Oxford University Press (OUP)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 106
Issue 11
APA6 Citation Venero-Fernandez, S., Suarez-Medina, R., Mora-Faife, E., Garcia-Garcia, G., Valle-Infante, I., Gomez-Marrero, L., …Fogarty, A. W. (2013). Risk factors for wheezing in infants born in Cuba. QJM: An International Journal of Medicine, 106(11), doi:10.1093/qjmed/hct143
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Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:


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Copyright Statement
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