Objectives: In this study, it was aimed to investigate the environmental risk factors and demographic characteristics of wheezy infants.
Methods: A total of 118 children aged 6-24 months, investigated in two subgroups as first wheezing and recurrent wheezing infants. Age and sex matched, healthy 60 children were recruited as the control group. Questionnaire was filled by the parents including knowledge about socio-demographic features, history of familial and personal atopy, age at wheezing onset, parental education, smoking and stove heating at home, familial crowding index and child’s immunization status.
Results: First wheezing group included 52, recurrent wheezing group included 66 patients. There was no statistically significant difference between study group and the controls in terms of sociodemographic features (p>0.05). Low educational level of mothers and maternal smoking in the study group was found to be significantly higher than controls (p<0.05). Family history of atopic diseases was significantly higher in the study group compared with the control group. Atopic dermatitis was significantly higher in recurrent wheezing subgroup and was significantly higher in the study group compared with the control group. The ratio of non-vaccinated children was significantly higher in the study group (31%) than the controls (6.7%), and was %6.7 in controls.
Conclusion: Maternal smoking and educational level, stove heating at home and lack of immunization are preventable environmental risk factors in wheezing infants. Examining risk factors and giving counseling can prevent recurrent hospitalizations and permanent bronchial damage.