To review published epidemiological studies describing early determinants of airway function in early life.
To summarise the influence of sex, ethnic group, socio-economic factors, prematurity, intrauterine growth retardation and pre- and post-natal smoke exposure as determinants of airway function in infants.
To describe the association between premorbid lung function and subsequent wheezing during the first few years of life.
Summary Since the late 1980s there has been an increasing number of epidemiological studies designed to investigate the early determinants of airway function and wheezing illnesses in infants. Most, but by no means all, of these studies have commenced in the first month of life and some cohorts have now been followed up for at least 20 years.
- ©ERS 2007