Back to Journals » Journal of Asthma and Allergy » Volume 11

Matched cohort study of therapeutic strategies to prevent preschool wheezing/asthma attacks

Authors Grigg J, Nibber A, Paton JY, Chisholm A, Guilbert TW, Kaplan A, Turner S, Roche N, Hillyer EV, Price DB

Received 1 July 2018

Accepted for publication 21 September 2018

Published 11 December 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 309—321


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Amrita Dosanjh

Jonathan Grigg,1 Anjan Nibber,2 James Y Paton,3 Alison Chisholm,2 Theresa W Guilbert,4 Alan Kaplan,5 Steve Turner,6 Nicolas Roche,7 Elizabeth V Hillyer,8 David B Price8,9

On behalf of the Respiratory Effectiveness Group

1Blizard Institute, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK; 2Respiratory Effectiveness Group, Cambridge, UK; 3School of Medicine, College of Medical, Veterinary, and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK; 4Pulmonary Division, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA; 5Family Physician Airways Group of Canada, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada; 6Department of Child Health, Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK; 7Respiratory Medicine, Cochin Hospital Group, AP-HP, University of Paris Descartes (EA2511), Paris, France; 8Observational and Pragmatic Research Institute Pte Ltd, Singapore, Singapore; 9Academic Primary Care, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK

Background: An inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) or leukotriene receptor antagonist (LTRA) may prevent wheezing/asthma attacks in preschoolers with recurrent wheeze when added to short-acting β-agonist (SABA).
Objective: The aim of this historical matched cohort study was to assess the effectiveness of these treatments for preventing wheezing/asthma attacks.
Methods: Electronic medical records from the Optimum Patient Care Research Database were used to characterize a UK preschool population (1–5 years old) with two or more episodes of wheezing during 1 baseline year before first prescription (index date) of ICS or LTRA, or repeat prescription of SABA. Children initiating ICS or LTRA on the index date were matched 1:4 to those prescribed only SABA for age, sex, year of index prescription, mean baseline SABA dose, baseline attacks, baseline antibiotic prescriptions, and eczema diagnosis. Wheezing/asthma attacks (defined as asthma-related emergency attendance, hospital admission, or acute oral corticosteroid prescription) during 1 outcome year were compared using conditional logistic regression.
Results: Matched ICS and SABA cohorts included 990 and 3,960 children, respectively (61% male; mean [SD] age 3.2 [1.3] years), and matched LTRA and SABA cohorts included 259 and 1,036 children, respectively (65% male; mean [SD] age 2.6 [1.2] years). We observed no significant difference between matched cohorts in the odds of a wheezing/asthma attack: ICS vs SABA, OR (95% CI) 1.01 (0.85–1.19) and LTRA vs SABA, OR (95% CI) 1.28 (0.96–1.72).
Conclusion: We found no evidence that initiation of ICS or LTRA therapy is associated with fewer attacks during 1 outcome year than SABA alone for a heterogeneous group of preschool children with recurrent wheeze in the real-life clinical setting.

Keywords: electronic medical records, inhaled corticosteroids, leukotriene receptor antagonists, observational study, ICS particle size, short-acting β-agonist

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]