Having a chest infection as a child raises a person’s risk of asthma by up to four times, new research reveals.
Suffering from a lower-respiratory tract infection, such as bronchitis or pneumonia, before the age of five increases an individual’s likelihood of developing the lung condition by between two and four times, a study found.
An upper-respiratory tract infection, including a cold or tonsillitis, raises the risk by 1.5 times.
Study author Dr Evelien van Meel from the Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands, said: ‘These findings support the hypothesis that early-life respiratory tract infections may influence the development of respiratory illnesses in the longer term.
‘In particular, lower-respiratory tract infections in early life seem to have the greatest adverse effect on lung function and the risk of asthma.’