Descriptive epidemiological data on incidence rates (IRs) of asthma with recurrent exacerbations (ARE) are sparse.
We hypothesized that IRs for ARE would vary by time, geography, age, race and ethnicity, irrespective of parental asthma history.
We leveraged data from 17246 children born after 1990 enrolled in 59 U.S. and one Puerto Rican cohort in the Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes consortium to estimate IRs for AREs.
The overall crude IR for ARE was 6.07/1000 person-years (95% confidence intervals (CI) 5.63, 6.51) and was highest for children age 2-4 years, for Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black children and for those with a parental history of asthma. ARE IRs were higher for 2-4 year olds in each race and ethnicity category and for both sexes. Multi-variable analysis confirmed higher adjusted ARE IRs (aIRR) for children born 2000-2009 compared to 1990-1999 and 2010-2017, 2-4 versus 10-19 years old (aIRR=15.36; CI 12.09, 2.99), and for males versus females (aIRR=1.34; CI 1.16, 1.55). Black children (non-Hispanic and Hispanic) had higher rates than non-Hispanic White children (aIRR=2.51; CI 2.10, 2.99 and aIRR=2.04; CI 1.22, 3.39, respectively). Children born in the Midwest, Northeast and South had higher rates than the West (p<0.01 for each comparison). Children with a parental history of asthma had rates nearly three times higher than those without such history (aIRR=2.90; CI 2.43-3.46).
Factors associated with time, geography, age, race and ethnicity, sex and parental history appear to influence the inception of ARE among children and adolescents.