Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVE: Children born preterm have an increased risk of asthma in early childhood. We examined whether this persists at 7 and 11 years, and whether wheezing trajectories across childhood are associated with preterm birth. DESIGN: Data were from the UK Millennium Cohort Study, which recruited children at 9 months, with follow-up at 3, 5, 7 and 11 years. OUTCOMES: Adjusted ORs (aOR) were estimated for recent wheeze and asthma medication use for children born <32, 32-33, 34-36 and 37-38 weeks' gestation, compared with children born at full term (39-41 weeks) at 7 (n=12 198) and 11 years (n=11 690). aORs were also calculated for having 'early-remittent' (wheezing at ages 3 and/or 5 years but not after), 'late' (wheezing at ages 7 and/or 11 years but not before) or 'persistent/relapsing' (wheezing at ages 3 and/or 5 and 7 and/or 11 years) wheeze. RESULTS: Birth <32 weeks, and to a lesser extent at 32-33 weeks, were associated with an increased risk of wheeze and asthma medication use at ages 7 and 11, and all three wheezing trajectories. The aOR for 'persistent/relapsing wheeze' at <32 weeks was 4.30 (95% CI 2.33 to 7.91) and was 2.06 (95% CI 1.16 to 2.69) at 32-33 weeks. Birth at 34-36 weeks was not associated with asthma medication use at 7 or 11, nor late wheeze, but was associated with the other wheezing trajectories. Birth at 37-38 weeks was not associated with wheeze nor asthma medication use. CONCLUSIONS: Birth <37 weeks is a risk factor for wheezing characterised as 'early-remittent' or 'persistent/relapsing' wheeze.

Original publication




Journal article


Arch Dis Child

Publication Date





1138 - 1144


asthma < pulmonology, epidemiology, neonatology, Asthma, Child, Child, Preschool, Disease Progression, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Gestational Age, Humans, Infant, Newborn, Infant, Premature, Infant, Premature, Diseases, Logistic Models, Male, Odds Ratio, Recurrence, Respiratory Sounds, Risk Factors, United Kingdom