Reduced Lung Function=Wheezing Later in Life
(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Abnormal airway function is a symptom of asthma and chronic obstructive airways disease. Studies have discovered that reduced lung function is apparent in childhood and continues through adulthood, but the relationship between the age of onset of wheezing has not been clarified. Now, a new study suggests that reduced lung function as early as infancy was associated with wheezing beyond the age of 18.
Researchers at the University College Cork, Ireland examined participants from a birth cohort who were followed from one month to 18 years. By the age of 18, researchers discovered out of 150 participants, 37 (25 percent) had wheeze and 20 (13 percent) had been diagnosed with asthma.
"To our knowledge, this study is the first to report an association between reduced lung function in infancy and wheeze beyond childhood," David Mullane, MD, and his colleagues were quoted as saying.
The study categorized 143 participants as having either persistent wheeze, later-onset wheeze, remittent wheeze, and no wheeze. Compared to the no wheeze group, persistent wheeze was independently associated with reduced percentage of predicted maximal flow at functional residual capacity (V’maxFRC). Persistent wheeze was also associated with atopy (a predisposition to allergic reactions) in infancy; maternal asthma and active smoking.
"Unexpectedly, we observed that a reduced V'maxFRC at age one month was associated with increased risk for wheeze only in young adults who were also current smokers. These results suggest that reduced early airway function and later exposures such as smoking are important to the cause of obstructive respiratory diseases in young adults. Interventions aimed at preventing young children with asthma symptoms and reduced lung function from smoking might prevent persisting symptoms of obstructive airways disease," the study authors concluded.
SOURCE: JAMA, February 2013