Toddlers who share the bed with their parents might have an increased risk of asthma in the later stages of childhood, new research has found.
"The current study shows there is an association between toddlers who share a bed with their parents at the age of two years and wheezing and asthma in later childhood," said Maartje Luijk from Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
The study involved 6,000 mothers and their children in the Netherlands.
The researchers collected information via a questionnaire on wheezing and asthma symptoms every year from the age of one to six years.
They also assessed sleeping patterns using a parental questionnaire.
The authors found that children who had bed-shared during infancy (at age two months) did not have a higher risk of wheezing during their first six years of life or of getting diagnosed with asthma.
However, bed-sharing at the age of 24 months was associated with an increased chance of wheezing subsequently (at ages three to six years), and with an increased chance of being diagnosed with asthma at age six.
"Bed-sharing increases the risk of asthma in some way but this study does not provide causal evidence of this," Luijk added.
The study appeared in the European Respiratory Journal.