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Inicio Allergologia et Immunopathologia Preterm birth is associated with higher prevalence of wheeze and asthma in a sel...
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Vol. 47. Issue 5.
Pages 425-430 (September - October 2019)
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Vol. 47. Issue 5.
Pages 425-430 (September - October 2019)
Original Article
DOI: 10.1016/j.aller.2018.10.004
Preterm birth is associated with higher prevalence of wheeze and asthma in a selected population of Japanese children aged three years
N. Takataa,b,, K. Tanakaa,c,,
Corresponding author

Corresponding author.
, C. Nagatad, M. Arakawae, Y. Miyakea,c
a Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Ehime University Graduate School of Medicine, Shitsukawa, Toon, Ehime 791-0295, Japan
b Department of Nursing, Shikoku University, Tokushima, Japan
c Epidemiology and Medical Statistics Unit, Translational Research Center, Ehime University Hospital, Ehime, Japan
d Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Gifu University Graduate School of Medicine, Gifu, Japan
e Wellness Research Fields, Faculty of Global and Regional Studies, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan
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Tables (2)
Table 1. Distribution of selected characteristics in 6364 children aged three years.
Table 2. ORs and 95% CIs for wheeze and asthma in relation to birth characteristics in 6364 Japanese children aged three years.
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The present cross-sectional study investigated the associations between low birthweight (LBW), high birthweight, preterm birth (PTB), postterm birth, small for gestational age (SGA), and large for gestational age (LGA) and the prevalence of wheeze and asthma in Japanese children aged three years (age range, 33–54 months; mean age, 38.7 months).


Study subjects were 6364 children. A questionnaire was used to collect all data. Wheeze and asthma were defined according to the criteria of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood.


The prevalence values of wheeze and asthma were 19.5% and 7.7%, respectively. Of the 6364 subjects, 8.8% were classified as LBW (<2500g), 90.4% as normal birthweight, 0.8% as high birthweight (≥4000g), 4.8% as PTB (<37 weeks), 94.8% as term birth, 0.4% as postterm birth (≥42 weeks), 7.8% as SGA (<10th percentile), 82.5% as appropriate for gestational age, and 9.7% as LGA (>90th percentile). Compared with term birth, PTB was independently positively associated with wheeze and asthma: the adjusted ORs (95% CI) were 1.47 (1.11–1.92) and 1.52 (1.02–2.20), respectively. An independent positive association was shown between PTB and wheeze only in boys; the interaction between PTB and sex was significant. Such an interaction between PTB and sex was not seen for asthma. No evident associations were observed between LBW, high birthweight, postterm birth, SGA, or LGA and wheeze or asthma.


This is the first study in Japan to show that PTB, but not LBW or SGA, was significantly positively associated with childhood wheeze and asthma.

Cross-sectional studies
Low birthweight
Preterm birth
Small for gestational age


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