To identify risk factors associated with hospitalization for acute lower respiratory tract illness, 102 children <2 years of age admitted to four Atlanta metropolitan area hospitals between December 1984 and June 1985 with the diagnosis of lower respiratory tract illness were studied. The most common causative agent associated with illness was respiratory syncytial virus, followed by other respiratory viruses, Haemophilus influenzae, and Streptococcus pneumoniae. The 102 case-patients were compared with 199 age- and sex-matched controls. A parent or guardian for each patient and control was interviewed by telephone regarding demographic data, care outside the home, breast-feeding, previous medical history, allergies, and smoking and illness in household members. Five factors were associated with lower respiratory tract illness in both a univariate analysis and a multiple logistic regression model (P < .05). These factors were the number of people sleeping in the same room with the child, a lack of immunization the month before the patient was hospitalized, prematurity, a history of allergy, and regular attendance in a day-care center (more than six children in attendance). Care received outside of the home in a day-care home (less than or equal to six children in attendance) was not associated with lower respiratory tract illness. The suggestion made by our study and other studies was that for children <2 years of age, care outside of the home is an important risk factor for acquiring lower respiratory tract illness, as well as other infectious diseases, and that this risk can be reduced by using a day-care home instead of a day-care center.
- Received June 15, 1987.
- Accepted October 5, 1987.
- Copyright © 1988 by the American Academy of Pediatrics