Brazilian Journal of Pulmonology

ISSN (on-line): 1806-3756 | ISSN (printed): 1806-3713

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Phenotypes of asthma in low-income children and adolescents: cluster analysis

Fenótipos de asma em crianças e adolescentes de baixa renda: análise de agrupamentos

Anna Lucia Barros Cabral1, Andrey Wirgues Sousa1,2, Felipe Augusto Rodrigues Mendes2, Celso Ricardo Fernandes de Carvalho2

J Bras Pneumol.2017;43(1):44-50

Abstract PDF PT PDF EN Portuguese Text

Objective: Studies characterizing asthma phenotypes have predominantly included adults or have involved children and adolescents in developed countries. Therefore, their applicability in other populations, such as those of developing countries, remains indeterminate. Our objective was to determine how low-income children and adolescents with asthma in Brazil are distributed across a cluster analysis. Methods: We included 306 children and adolescents (6-18 years of age) with a clinical diagnosis of asthma and under medical treatment for at least one year of follow-up. At enrollment, all the patients were clinically stable. For the cluster analysis, we selected 20 variables commonly measured in clinical practice and considered important in defining asthma phenotypes. Variables with high multicollinearity were excluded. A cluster analysis was applied using a two-step agglomerative test and log-likelihood distance measure. Results: Three clusters were defined for our population. Cluster 1 (n = 94) included subjects with normal pulmonary function, mild eosinophil inflammation, few exacerbations, later age at asthma onset, and mild atopy. Cluster 2 (n = 87) included those with normal pulmonary function, a moderate number of exacerbations, early age at asthma onset, more severe eosinophil inflammation, and moderate atopy. Cluster 3 (n = 108) included those with poor pulmonary function, frequent exacerbations, severe eosinophil inflammation, and severe atopy. Conclusions: Asthma was characterized by the presence of atopy, number of exacerbations, and lung function in low-income children and adolescents in Brazil. The many similarities with previous cluster analyses of phenotypes indicate that this approach shows good generalizability.

 


Keywords: Asthma/classification; Asthma/etiology; Child; Adolescent.

 


 

 


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