Airway diseases are highly prevalent in infants and cause significant morbidity. We aimed to determine the incidence and risk factors for respiratory morbidity in a Spanish cohort of moderate-to-late preterm (MLP) infants prospectively followed during their first year of life.Methods:
SAREPREM is a multicenter, prospective, longitudinal study. Preterm infants born at 32–35 weeks of gestation with no comorbidities were enrolled within 2 weeks of life and followed at 2–4 weeks, 6, and 12 months of age. Multivariate mixed-models were performed to identify independent risk factors associated with (i) development of bronchiolitis, (ii) recurrent wheezing, or (iii) related hospital admissions.Results:
Overall, 977 preterm infants were included, and 766 (78.4%) completed follow-up. Of those, 365 (47.7%) developed bronchiolitis during the first year, 144 (18.8%) recurrent wheezing, and 48 (6.3%) were hospitalized. While low birthweight, day care attendance (DCA) and school-age siblings were significantly and independently associated with both the development of bronchiolitis and recurrent wheezing, lower maternal age increased the risk for bronchiolitis and respiratory-related hospitalizations. Lastly, mechanical ventilation was associated with a higher risk of bronchiolitis and history of asthma in any parent increased the likelihood of developing recurrent wheezing.Conclusions:
In this study, several non-modifiable parameters (family history of asthma, low birthweight, need for mechanical ventilation) and modifiable parameters (young maternal age, DCA, or exposure to school-age siblings) were identified as significant risk factors for the development of bronchiolitis and recurrent wheezing during the first year of life in MLP infants.