Social inequalities in wheezing in children: findings from the UK Millennium Cohort Study

Taylor-Robinson, D. C., Pearce, A. , Whitehead, M., Smyth, R. and Law, C. (2016) Social inequalities in wheezing in children: findings from the UK Millennium Cohort Study. European Respiratory Journal, 47(3), pp. 818-828. (doi: 10.1183/13993003.01117-2015) (PMID:26677938) (PMCID:PMC4771620)

147767.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.



Wheezing in childhood is socially patterned, but it is unclear what factors explain the social differences. Regression analysis of the UK Millennium Cohort Study, based on 11 141 singleton children who participated at ages 9 months and 3, 5 and 7 years. Relative risk ratios (RRR) for early and persistent/relapsing wheeze were estimated using multinomial regression, according to measures of socioeconomic circumstances. Maternal, antenatal and early-life characteristics were assessed as potential mediators. Children of mothers with no educational qualifications were more likely to have both wheeze types, compared to children of mothers with degree-level qualifications (RRR 1.53, 95% CI 1.26–1.86 for early wheeze; 1.32 95% CI 1.04–1.67 for persistent/relapsing wheeze). Controlling for maternal age, smoking during pregnancy and breastfeeding removed the elevated risk of wheezing. Male sex, maternal age, body mass index, atopy, smoking during pregnancy, preterm birth, breastfeeding, exposure to other children and furry pets were independently associated with wheezing, but the pattern of association varied between wheezing types. In this representative UK cohort, adjustment for maternal smoking during pregnancy and breastfeeding removed the socioeconomic inequalities in common wheezing phenotypes. Policies to reduce the social gradient in these risk factors may reduce inequalities in wheezing and asthma.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Pearce, Dr Anna
Authors: Taylor-Robinson, D. C., Pearce, A., Whitehead, M., Smyth, R., and Law, C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:European Respiratory Journal
Publisher:ERS Publications
ISSN (Online):1399-3003
Published Online:17 December 2015
Copyright Holders:Copyright © ERS 2016
First Published:First published in European Respiratory Journal 47(3):818-828
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record