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Journal article

Preterm birth, birth weight, infant weight gain and their associations with childhood asthma and spirometry: a cross-sectional observational study in Nairobi, Kenya

This research looked at how childhood respiratory symptoms and lung function are related to birth characteristics in sub-Saharan Africa. As part of a study on asthma symptoms in older children in Nairobi, the researchers looked at information in the children’s’ medical records to explore how birth characteristics related to current respiratory symptoms.

Sarah West / Published on 3 October 2023

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Citation

Meme, H., Amukoye, E., Bowyer, C., Chakaya, J., Dobson, R., Fuld, J., Gray, C. M., Kiplimo, R., Lesosky, M., Mortimer, K., Ndombi, A., Obasi, A., Orina, F., Quint, J. K., Semple, S., West, S. E., Zurba, L., & Devereux, G. (2023). Preterm birth, birth weight, infant weight gain and their associations with childhood asthma and spirometry: a cross-sectional observational study in Nairobi, Kenya. BMJ: Open Respiratory Research 10. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjresp-2023-001895.

This journal article is based on work undertaken during the Tupumue research project, which explored how the respiratory health of schoolchildren in Nairobi was impacted by both indoor and outdoor air pollution. The Tupumue project’s results indicated that children attending schools in informal settlements were more likely to have symptoms associated with asthma than those attending schools in a more affluent area. 

During the course of the Tupumue project, researchers also looked at the children’s immunization booklets, which contained records of their birth weight and weights through their first year. By looking at the children’s birth characteristics alongside the evidence collected on the children’s lung health, the researchers were able to identify relationships between birth characteristics such as preterm birth and low birth weight, and childhood respiratory symptoms and lung function. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first time these associations have been made in a sub-Saharan Africa setting.

The authors recommended that health interventions which target the first 1000 days from conception could be vital for long-term respiratory health for people in sub-Saharan Africa.

Close-up shot of a premature Black baby being held by a doctor, focused on the baby's feet. The baby is wearing a nappy.

A baby with low birth weight held by a doctor

Photo: leoniepow / iStock / Getty Images Plus

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Open access

SEI author

Sarah West

Centre Director

SEI York

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BMJ Open Respiratory Research Open access
Topics and subtopics
Health : Well-being
Related centres
SEI York
Regions
Kenya

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