Children of the First Nations and Inuit in Canada have a high propensity for lower respiratory tract infections. Overcrowding, poor housing, passive smoke exposure, and lack of breastfeeding (Martens P, Bond R, Jebamani L, Burchill C, et al. http://www.umanitoba.ca/centres/ mchp/reports/pdfs/rfn_pdfs/ rfn_report.pdf.; MacMillan H, Walsh C, Jamieson E, Crawford A, Boyle M. http://www.hcsc.gc.ca/fnihbdgspni/fnihb/aboriginalhealth/reports_summaries/ regional_survey_ch1.pdf.; Wardman AE, Khan NA. Int J Circumpolar Health 2004;63:81-92) have been cited as important contributing factors in the occurrence of lower respiratory tract infections. However, aspiration during swallowing has thus far not been considered as a co-factor in the occurrence of lower respiratory tract infections in these children. We present a retrospective case series of seven typically developing children of the Canadian First Nations and Inuit, in whom aspiration during swallowing was detected in the course of investigating associations with recurrent lower respiratory tract infections. None of the children had any of the known risk factors for aspiration during swallowing such as developmental variation, prematurity, neuromotor problems, or anatomic abnormalities of the upper aerodigestive tract. We speculate that aspiration during swallowing in typically developing children may be an important, previously unrecognized co-factor in the occurrence of lower respiratory tract infections, particularly in the communities of the Canadian First Nations and Inuit. Further prospective studies will be needed to determine whether aspiration during swallowing represents an independent risk factor for the occurrence of lower respiratory tract infections in these children.
- Aspiration during swallowing
- Canadian aboriginal children
- First Nations children
- Lower respiratory tract infection
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine