Family factors associated with the incidence of asthma and wheezing during childhood have been studied in a cohort of over 2000 children who, together with their families, were followed-up for five years. Episodes of wheezing not regarded by the parents as asthma had a different pattern of association with family factors to that found for asthma. The outcome of the two conditions in terms of ventilatory function at the age of five years was also different, in that children with a history of asthma had a lower peak expiratory flow rate than did children with a history of non-asthmatic wheezing.
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