Background: Recurrent respiratory infections (RRIs) are very common in early life, and constituting a social problem concerning the family, the paediatrician and pharma-economy. Although the relation between atopy and RRIs has been evaluated in several studies, the data are not still conclusive.
Objectives: The aim of the study were: (i) to determine the type, the number and the total duration of RRIs recorded during follow-up study in atopic and non-atopic groups; (ii) the multiplicity and strength of sensitization as a further risk factor for developing RRIs.
Patients and Methods: 10,200 children were prospectively and consecutively monitored when they were 12 years old. All children were assessed for SPT, serum total and specific IgE levels for common food and inhalant allergens. Parental report of each physician-diagnosed respiratory illness was also analyzed.
Results: Of the 10,200 children who started the study, information was obtained until the end of the study for 7,568 (74.2%). Of these, 3,294 children (43.52%) resulted affected by RRIs. Atopy was found in 1888 of 3294 children (57.31%). RRIs symptoms occurred more frequently in atopic children than in non atopic ones (p<0.0001). Atopic group showed longer duration of RRIs (6.43±1.41days) in comparison with the non-atopic group (3.9±1.41 days) (p< 0.0001). In addition, in evaluating sensitive, multi-sensitive children showed higher number (p=0.011) and longer duration (7.82±2.82 days) than mono-sensitive children (4.57±0.70 days) (p= 0.027).
Conclusions: Our results provide evidence that atopy and the multiplicity and strength of sensitization modify the risk respiratory infections.