Early life patterns of common infection: a latent class analysis

Hepworth, Sarah J., Law, Graham R., Lawlor, Debbie A. and McKinney, Patricia A. (2010) Early life patterns of common infection: a latent class analysis. European Journal of Epidemiology, 25 (12). pp. 875-883. ISSN 0393-2990


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Early life infection has been implicated in the aetiology of many chronic diseases, most often through proxy measures. Data on ten infectious symptoms were collected by parental questionnaire when children were 6 months old as part of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, United Kingdom. A latent class analysis was used to identify patterns of infection and their relationship to five factors commonly used as proxies: sex, other children in the home, maternal smoking, breastfeeding and maternal education. A total of 10,032 singleton children were included in the analysis. Five classes were identified with differing infectious disease patterns and children were assigned to the class for which they had a highest probability of membership based on their infectious symptom profile: 'general infection' (n = 1,252, 12.5), 'gastrointestinal' (n = 1,902, 19.0), 'mild respiratory' (n = 3,560, 35.5), 'colds/ear ache' (n = 462, 4.6) and 'healthy' (n = 2,856, 28.5). Females had a reduced risk of being in all infectious classes, other children in the home were associated with an increased risk of being in the 'general infection', 'mild respiratory' or 'colds/ear ache' class. Breastfeeding reduced the risk of being in the 'general infection' and 'gastrointestinal' classes whereas maternal smoking increased the risk of membership. Higher maternal education was associated with an increased risk of being in the 'mild respiratory' group. Other children in the home had the greatest association with infectious class membership. Latent class analysis provided a flexible method of investigating the relationship between multiple symptoms and demographic and lifestyle factors. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Keywords:article, breast feeding, child, common cold, controlled study, coughing, diarrhea, dyspnea, education, environmental exposure, female, gastrointestinal infection, hematochezia, high temperature, human, immune response, infection, lifestyle, major clinical study, male, maternal smoking, otalgia, questionnaire, respiratory tract infection, symptom, United Kingdom, vomiting, wheezing, Age Factors, Chronic Disease, Communicable Diseases, Demography, England, Epidemiologic Research Design, Humans, Infant, Life Style, Logistic Models, Longitudinal Studies, Pregnancy, Sex Factors, Time
Subjects:B Subjects allied to Medicine > B990 Subjects Allied to Medicine not elsewhere classified
L Social studies > L510 Health & Welfare
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Health & Social Care
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ID Code:26521
Deposited On:09 Mar 2017 16:31

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