A case-crossover design to examine the role of aeroallergens and respiratory viruses on childhood asthma exacerbations requiring hospitalization: the Mapcah study

Bircan Erbas, Shyamali C Dharmage, Molly O'Sullivan, Muhammad Akram, Edward James Newbigin, Philip E Taylor, Don Vicendese, Robin John Hyndman, Philip G Bardin, Mimi L Tang, Michael John Abramson

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Background: Few case-control studies of time dependent environmental exposures and respiratory outcomes have been performed. Small sample sizes pose modeling challenges for estimating interactions. In contrast, case cross-over studies are well suited where control selection and responses are low, time consuming and costly. Objective: To demonstrate feasibility in daily recruitment of children admitted to hospital with asthma and validity of the case crossover methodology for hospital based studies. Methods: The Melbourne Air Pollen Children and Adolescent Health (MAPCAH) study recruited incident asthma admissions of children and adolescents aged 2?17 years to a tertiary hospital. A case was defined by date of admission, and eligible cases served as their own controls. We used bi-directional sampling design for control selection. At time of admission, participants underwent skin prick tests and nasal/throat swabs (NTS) to test for respiratory viruses. Questionnaires collected data on asthma management, family history and environmental characteristics. Daily concentrations of ambient pollen, air pollution and weather variables were also available. Results: 644 children were recruited. More than half (63 ) were male with mean age 5.2(SD 3.3) years. Nonparticipants were slightly younger at admission (mean age 4.4, SD 2.8, p
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 6
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biometrics & Biostatistics
Issue numberS7-018
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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