According to study results published in the journal Hospital Pediatrics, although >50% of infants hospitalized for bronchiolitis were diagnosed with asthma within 5 years of discharge, no hospital-based variables were linked to higher diagnosis rates.

Researchers retrospectively evaluated patient records from infants <12 months old who were hospitalized for bronchiolitis. Potential risk factors were compared between children who had not been diagnosed with asthma within 5 years of discharge and those who were diagnosed with asthma within 5 years of discharge.

Among the 534 infants hospitalized for bronchiolitis, 294 (55.1%) were diagnosed with asthma and 102 (19.1%) were hospitalized for asthma within 5 years of discharge. There was no significant difference in asthma diagnosis rates related to length of hospitalization, intensive care unit stay, albuterol treatments received, supplemental oxygen, respiratory support, highest respiratory rate, and respiratory syncytial virus infection.

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In an adjusted multivariate logistic regression analysis, the researchers determined that age, sex, race, and family history of asthma in a first-degree relative were independently associated with asthma diagnosis after bronchiolitis hospitalization. However, after stratifying the model by family history of asthma, the researchers found that age and race were only significant predictors for an asthma diagnosis in infants without a family history of asthma (age: odds ratio [OR], 1.19; 95% CI, 1.08-1.32; race: OR, 4.06; 95% CI, 1.56-10.58). Sex was a significant predictor of future asthma in both models (female vs male sex: OR, 0.46).

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“Infants from a population with high asthma prevalence hospitalized with bronchiolitis had a high prevalence of asthma diagnosis and health care use for asthma during the 5-year period post discharge,” the researchers wrote. “The severity of illness and clinical factors during hospitalization were not associated with future asthma diagnosis.”


Clark A, Dong N, Roth T, Douglas LC. Factors associated with asthma diagnosis within five years of a bronchiolitis hospitalization: a retrospective cohort study in a high asthma prevalence population. Hosp Pediatr. 2019;9(10):794-800.