Asthma-like symptoms in the first year of life and health-related quality of life at age 12 months: the Generation R study

Ashna D Mohangoo, Harry J de Koning, Johan C de Jongste, Jeanne M Landgraf, Johannes C van der Wouden, Vincent W V Jaddoe, Albert Hofman, Henriette A Moll, Johan P Mackenbach, Hein Raat

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PURPOSE: This study compares HRQOL among subgroups of infants with asthma-like symptoms to a subgroup without such symptoms and examines independent associations between asthma-like symptoms during the first year of life and HRQOL at age 12 months.

METHODS: Our study sample included 5,000 infants participating in the Generation R study. Their parents completed structured questionnaires to obtain information on asthma-like symptoms, HRQOL, infants', and maternal characteristics. Asthma-like symptoms were defined according to the number of positive answers to 12 items on lower respiratory symptoms. HRQOL was measured using the ITQOL. Higher scores indicated better HRQOL.

RESULTS: Infants with asthma-like symptoms had significantly lower HRQOL scores for all ITQOL scales. Among the subgroup with severe symptoms (4% of the infants), relevant deficits in HRQOL were observed for most ITQOL scales, particularly for General Health, Bodily Pain, and Family Activities (effect sizes ≥ 0.8). In multivariate linear models, asthma-like symptoms were independently associated with 6 ITQOL scales. The population attributable risks were especially high for Family Activities, General Health, Parental Emotional, and Parental Time.

CONCLUSIONS: Asthma-like symptoms during the first year of life are associated with impaired quality of life at age 12 months. At population level, asthma-like symptoms were associated with lower HRQOL, regardless of symptom severity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-54
Number of pages10
JournalQuality of life research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012


  • Analysis of Variance
  • Asthma/epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Netherlands/epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Regression Analysis
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

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