The European Journal of General Practice vol:16 pages:133-138
Abstract Introduction: In previous papers we analysed the incidence of wheezing in young children living near the iron and steel factory in Călăraşi, and in a control region (Roseţi) without industrial air pollution. Research question: Is industrial air pollution exposure during the first years of life a risk factor for the presence of asthmatic symptoms in children at school age? Methods: We assessed the prevalence of asthma symptoms using the ISAAC short form questionnaire for children aged 6-7 years, and measured the FEV1 and PEF in the children of both municipalities (297 children in Călăraşi, i.e. the exposed cohort, and 237 in Roseţi, i.e. the non-exposed cohort). Results: We found an OR of 7.2 (95% CI: 3.6-14.3) for affirmative answers to at least one of ISAAC questions for children living in Călăraşi compared to the children in Roseţi. The numbers of affirmative answers to all but one of the ISAAC questions were significantly higher in Călăraşi. The main result remained robust after adjusting for a series of co-variables using multiple logistic regression analysis (OR 14.8; 95% CI: 4.8-46.1). There was a strong relation between early life wheezing and asthma symptoms at school age (OR 9.0; 95%CI: 3.4-23.5). Conclusion: Children, who had been living near an iron and steel factory during their early years, are still at increased risk for asthma symptoms at school age.