Main Organiser

Julius Centre University of Malaya

Co-organiser

Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malay

Supported by

University of Malaya

CHILDHOOD ASTHMA AND CHRONIC OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY DISEASE IN LATER LIFE

Author

Lee AH, Hirayama F

Institution

 

Abstract

Objectives: To investigate whether asthma in childhood is associated with adult lung function and the risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Methods: A case-control study was conducted in central Japan. Three hundred patients with COPD aged 50 to 75 years were referred by respiratory physicians, while 400 controls were recruited from the community. All participants underwent spirometric measurements of lung function. Information on childhood asthma, demographic and lifestyle characteristics was obtained by face- to-face interview using a structured questionnaire.

Results: The prevalence of childhood asthma was higher (p = 0.015) among the cases (6.3%) than the control group (2.4%). Childhood asthma was significantly associated with the risk of COPD (adjusted odds ratio 3.32, 95% confidence interval 1.05 to 10.45). Participants with childhood asthma had lower (p = 0.010) forced expiratory volume in one second (mean 1.63, SD 0.64 L) than those without (mean 2.04, SD 0.75 L). However, the adjusted lung function difference did not attain significance after controlling for confounding variables such as age and cumulative smoking exposure.

Conclusion: The epidemiological evidence suggested a positive association between childhood asthma and COPD in later life. Treatment of asthma for children is thus important to prevent them from developing COPD.