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Association of factors with childhood asthma and allergic diseases using latent class analysis


We hypothesize that children characterized by deprived factors have poorer health outcomes. We aim to identify clustering of determinants and estimate risk of early childhood diseases. This 1993–2019 longitudinal cohort study combines three Canadian pediatric cohorts and their families. Mothers and children are clustered using latent class analysis (LCA) by 16 indicators in three domains (maternal and newborn; socioeconomic status [SES] and neighbourhood; environmental exposures). Hazard ratios (HR) of childhood asthma, allergic rhinitis (AR), and eczema are quantified with Cox proportional hazard (PH) regression. Rate ratios (RR) of children’s health services use (HSU) are estimated with Poisson regression. Here we report the inclusion of 15,724 mother–child pairs; our LCA identifies four mother-clusters. Classes 1 and 2 mothers are older (30–40 s), non-immigrants with university education, living in high SES neighbourhoods; Class 2 mothers have poorer air quality and less greenspace. Classes 3 and 4 mothers are younger (20–30 s), likely an immigrant/refugee, with high school-to-college education, living in lower SES neighborhoods with poorer air quality and less greenspace. Children’s outcomes differ by Class, in comparison to Class 1. Classes 3 and 4 children have higher risks of asthma (HR 1.24, 95% CI 1.11–1.37 and HR 1.39, 95% CI 1.22–1.59, respectively), and similar higher risks of AR and eczema. Children with AR in Class 3 have 20% higher all-cause physician visits (RR = 1.20, 95% CI 1.10–1.30) and those with eczema have 18% higher all-cause emergency department visits (RR = 1.18, 95% CI 1.09–1.28) and 14% higher all-cause physician visits (RR = 1.14, 95% CI 1.09–1.19). Multifactorial-LCA mother-clusters may characterize associations of children’s health outcomes and care, adjusting for interrelationships.



To T, Borkhoff CM, Anderson LN, Birken CS, Dell SD, Janus M, Maguire JL, Moraes TJ, Parkin PC, Subbarao P, Van Dam A, Guttman B, Terebessy E, Zhang K, Zhu J. Sci Rep. 2024; 14(1):6874. Epub 2024 Mar 22.

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