Summary: Background: Childhood wheeze is an important, well-known risk factor for asthma, yet little is known about the contribution of nocturnal dry cough. We investigated the association of nocturnal dry cough at ages 1-7 years with doctor-diagnosed asthma at 8 years of age, both in the presence and absence of wheeze. Methods: Data of 3,252 children from the PIAMA birth cohort were studied. Parents reported the presence of nocturnal dry cough, wheeze, and doctor-diagnosed asthma in the past 12 months yearly, from birth up to the age of 8 years. Results: Nocturnal dry cough without wheeze was significantly associated with doctor-diagnosed asthma at age 8, except for age 1 (range of Relative Risks (RR) at ages 2-7: 1.8 (age 5) - 7.1 (age 7), all P-values <0.048). As expected, wheeze without nocturnal dry cough was strongly associated with doctor-diagnosed asthma at age 8 (range of RR: 2.0 (age 1) - 22.2 (age 7), all P-values <0.003). Of interest, nocturnal dry cough with wheeze showed the strongest association with doctor-diagnosed asthma at age 8 (range of RR: 3.7 (age 1) - 26.0 (age 7), all P-values <0.001). The relative excess risk of asthma at age 8 due to interaction of nocturnal dry cough with wheeze at age 1 year was 1.8 (0.1-3.6, P<0.01). Conclusion: Nocturnal dry cough and wheeze in early childhood are both independently associated with asthma at school age. The presence of both nocturnal dry cough and wheeze at age 1 almost doubles the risk of asthma at age 8 compared to wheeze alone.

Asthma, Birth cohort, Children, Nocturnal dry cough, Wheeze
dx.doi.org/10.1002/ppul.23092, hdl.handle.net/1765/82023
Pediatric Pulmonology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Boudewijn, I.M, Savenije, O.E, Koppelman, G.H, Wijga, A.H, Smit, H.A, de Jongste, J.C, … Kerkhof, M. (2014). Nocturnal dry cough in the first 7 years of life is associated with asthma at school age. Pediatric Pulmonology. doi:10.1002/ppul.23092