Clustering of asthma and related comorbidities and their association with maternal health during pregnancy: evidence from an Australian birth cohort

Ahmad, Kabir ORCID: and Kabir, Enamul ORCID: and Ormsby, Gail M. and Khanam, Rasheda ORCID: (2021) Clustering of asthma and related comorbidities and their association with maternal health during pregnancy: evidence from an Australian birth cohort. BMC Public Health, 21 (1):1952. pp. 1-13.

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Background: The population-based classification of asthma severity is varied and needs further classification. This study identified clusters of asthma and related comorbidities of Australian children aged 12–13 years; determined health outcome differences among clusters; and investigated the associations between maternal asthma and other health conditions during pregnancy and the children’s clustered groups.

Methods: Participants were 1777 children in the birth cohort of the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) who participated in the Health CheckPoint survey and the LSAC 7th Wave. A latent class analysis (LCA) was conducted to identify clusters of children afflicted with eight diseases, such as asthma (ever diagnosed or current), wheezing, eczema, sleep problem/snoring/breathing problem, general health status, having any health condition and food allergy. Multinomial logistic regression was used to investigate the association between maternal asthma or other health conditions and LCA clusters.

Results: The study identified four clusters: (i) had asthma – currently healthy (11.0%), (ii) never asthmatic & healthy (64.9%), (iii) early-onset asthmatic or allergic (10.7%), and (iv) asthmatic unhealthy (13.4%). The asthmatic unhealthy cluster was in poor health in terms of health-related quality of life, general wellbeing and lung functions compared to other clusters. Children whose mothers had asthma during pregnancy were 3.31 times (OR 3.31, 95% CI: 2.06–5.30) more likely to be in the asthmatic unhealthy cluster than children whose mothers were non-asthmatic during pregnancy.

Conclusion: Using LCA analysis, this study improved a classification strategy for children with asthma and related morbidities to identify the most vulnerable groups within a population-based sample.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © The Author(s). 2021 Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Business (18 Jan 2021 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions - Centre for Health Research (1 Apr 2020 -)
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2021 02:25
Last Modified: 23 Dec 2021 07:01
Uncontrolled Keywords: latent class analysis, cluster analysis, asthma, asthma related comorbidities, paediatric quality of life, general well-being, spirometry
Fields of Research (2008): 14 Economics > 1402 Applied Economics > 140208 Health Economics
Fields of Research (2020): 38 ECONOMICS > 3801 Applied economics > 380102 Behavioural economics
38 ECONOMICS > 3801 Applied economics > 380108 Health economics
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 20 HEALTH > 2005 Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health) > 200506 Neonatal and child health
20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200407 Health status (incl. wellbeing)
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