Introduction: The increased risk for childhood asthma in children suffering from hyperbilirubinemia, and those who underwent phototherapy has attracted enormous interest.
Objectives: In this study, we attempted to explain the relationship between childhood asthma and phototherapy.
Patients and Methods: This case-control study was performed on children aged between 2 and 14 years old with a definitive diagnosis of childhood asthma. A sex and age-matched group of children without any pieces of evidence, of asthma or other respiratory problems were also selected as the control group. The hospital’s recorded files were the primary sources for the information about demographics, history of asthma in neonates or his/her parents, history and time of phototherapy as well as the data on neonatal hyperbilirubinemia.
Results: In total, 69 children who have asthma and 71 non-asthmatic children as the controls were included in this study. Moreover, these two groups were matched for baseline variables. Comparing the history of phototherapy between the asthmatic and non-asthmatic groups showed a higher rate of phototherapy in the former group (37.7% versus 11.3%; P < 0.001). Accordingly, the risk of asthma could be increased according to the history of phototherapy, up to four times (OR = 4.76, 95%CI: 1.97–11.51, P < 0.001).
Conclusion: The risk of childhood asthma can increase if a child had the previous phototherapy. This causal effect is independent of the degree or the age of occurring hyperbilirubinemia, which is the main indication for phototherapy.