When Babies and Toddlers Wheeze

Wheezing in children before their second birthdays does not appear to make them any more likely than others to have asthma as adults – even among children who are at high risk for asthma and allergies – according to a study published in the January 2002 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. Children with a strong family history of asthma and/or hay fever were followed from birth to age 22.

Most who wheezed as toddlers outgrew it before age 11. But among those who wheezed before age 2, 38% went on to eventually develop asthma. However, the same percentage of those who did not wheeze as infants, toddlers, or preschoolers also went on to develop asthma.

Early wheezing does not seem to make a difference. The older children are when they start wheezing, the more likely they are to wheeze as adults.

Published on: January 31, 2002
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Photo of Alan Greene MD
Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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