Evaluation of atopy among mouth-breathing pediatric patients referred for treatment to a tertiary care center.

Jornal de pediatria

PubMedID: 17171205

Barros JR, Becker HM, Pinto JA. Evaluation of atopy among mouth-breathing pediatric patients referred for treatment to a tertiary care center. J Pediatr (Rio J). 2006;82(6):458-64.
OBJECTIVE
A mouth breather is someone who uses his/her oral cavity as the main airway during breathing. This is a syndrome with several etiologies, but allergic rhinitis plays a key role due to its high prevalence. The aim of this study was to assess the presence of atopy among mouth-breathing patients referred to a tertiary care center in the metropolitan region of Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

METHODS
Cross-sectional, descriptive study carried out at Hospital das ClĂ­nicas of Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais. Patients aged 2 to 12 years, admitted between November 2002 and April 2004, were included. Parents or surrogates completed a comprehensive questionnaire, and patients were submitted to a skin test for inhalant allergens. A total of 140 patients participated in the study. Those with a positive result for at least one allergen were regarded as atopic. The statistical analyses were made using SPSS, with univariate analyses followed by logistic regression.

RESULTS
Of 140 patients, 44.3% (62/140) obtained positive results on the allergic test. Mites were the most predominant allergens, with a positive rate of 100% among atopic patients. In the multivariate analysis, atopy was significantly associated with the male sex (p = 0.05), presence of asthma (p = 0.014), lower number of people sleeping in the same room with the patient (p = 0.005), absence of passive smoking (p = 0.005) and absence of sleep apnea (p = 0.003).

CONCLUSION
The high prevalence of positive results on the allergic test highlights the importance of allergologic investigation in mouth-breathers, since allergy has specific treatments that may reduce morbidity in these patients when properly used.