The children who received the RSV prevention had significantly less airway obstruction and better airway conductance. In one measure of general lung function, 85% (11/13) of the children who received the treatment had normal lung function compared to only 38% (9/26) of the control group. Children in the control group had an average of three colds in the previous year versus one for the RSV prevention group.
Children in the RSV prevention group had fewer asthma attacks and used less asthma medication in the previous year than did the control-group children. Children in the control group had an average of one asthma attack in the previous year, while those in the RSV prevention group had an average of none. Seventy percent (18/26) of the control children used an asthma medication in the previous year, compared to 40% (5/13) in the RSV prevention group. A smaller percentage of the children in the RSV prevention group were diagnosed with asthma, although the difference was not statistically significant.
"The children who received the RSV prevention are clearly healthier," said Dr. Wenzel. "Difficulty finding many of the children from the original study limited the size of our study sample and the statistical power of our study. But the consistency of the results, from lung function to colds to use of asthma medications makes me believe that RSV infection in the first year of life can contribute to the development of asthma."
One statistic especially favorable to the RSV/asthma connection is the higher rate of allergy among the control group. Allergies are more common amo
Contact: William Allstetter
National Jewish Medical and Research Center