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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.


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

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Nov 11, 2013
Deposit Date Apr 10, 2014
Publicly Available Date Apr 10, 2014
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
Public URL
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:


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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:

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