The Born Early, Breath Easy or BeBe study also called Respiratory Health Outcomes in Neonates (RHiNO) study is a project studying why some children who were born early have breathing problems and how best to treat these breathing symptoms.
From 1,122 returned questionnaires, we were able to study 767 children, including 565 who were born prematurely and 202 who were born on time as control children. The children were aged 7 – 12 years and were studied to determine if those born prematurely have more breathing problems than those born on time. We used breathing tests and also determined if a single dose of inhaler used in asthma improved any breathing problems the prematurely born children had.
After the home visit, the children with low breathing test results were invited to be examined at the Children’s Hospital of Wales in Cardiff to understand why these children have low breathing tests values. We shall conducted a three-month trial of inhalers commonly used in asthma to see which inhalers worked best in prematurely born children with low breathing test results. We also studied children born on time and prematurely without low breathing tests (but of course these children will not receive any trial inhalers).
Finally, 65 children went to our expert colleagues at Sheffield University who scanned the lungs of these children using very modern MRI scans to study the lung structure of children born prematurely. Again, we also studied children born on time to compare the results with.
We started the study in autumn 2016 visiting children at their home and completed the study in November 2019. Many children have visited the child friendly research facility and have also visited Sheffield for their scans.
The data is now being studied in detail and we have already published findings to show that a combination of inhaled corticosteroids and long acting beta2 agonists (ICS/LABA) combination improved the children’s lung function by 15% on average. These data should help doctors to treat prematurely born children who have lung symptoms such as wheezing.
We are also looking at the data to show why these children have low lung breathing tests so we can develop more targeted treatments. We shall list the publications in the Publications page.
We would like to THANK all the children and their parents for taking time to participate in BeBe or RHiNO, we are very grateful!
July 2023: Additional papers have been published to try to understand the nature of the lung disease that children born prematurely – these are shown on the publications page – click here.
The data from the trial in RHiNO was published in 2022 showing that a combination of inhaled corticosteroids and long acting beta2 agonists (ICS/LABA) combination improved the children’s lung function by 15% on average. The findings were published in JAMA Pediatrics in 2022: