Before the development of any respiratory illness, 124 healthy infants had their lung function assessed. Infants in the lowest third subsequently had a wheezing illness nearly four times the rate of the others. The authors "postulate that the differences in lung function found after lower respiratory illness in infancy may be due, at least in part, to differences in lung function that were present before the illness occurred." The authors speculate that endogenous airway hyperresponsiveness may predispose infants. But other data do not demonstrate a good correlation between infant airway hyperresponsiveness and lung function tests. The authors conclude that the structure of airways may predispose some infants to wheezing in association with viral respiratory infections.

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