eCite Digital Repository

Childhood predictors of lung function trajectories and future COPD risk: a prospective cohort study from the first to the sixth decade of life


Bui, DS and Lodge, CJ and Burgess, JA and Lowe, AJ and Perret, J and Bui, MQ and Bowatte, G and Gurrin, L and Johns, DP and Thompson, BR and Hamilton, GS and Frith, PA and James, AL and Thomas, PS and Jarvis, D and Svanes, C and Russell, M and Morrison, SC and Feather, I and Allen, KJ and Wood-Baker, R and Hopper, J and Giles, GG and Abramson, MJ and Walters, EH and Matheson, MC and Dharmage, SC, Childhood predictors of lung function trajectories and future COPD risk: a prospective cohort study from the first to the sixth decade of life, The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, 6, (7) pp. 535-544. ISSN 2213-2600 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2018 Elsevier Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1016/S2213-2600(18)30100-0


Background: Lifetime lung function is related to quality of life and longevity. Over the lifespan, individuals follow different lung function trajectories. Identification of these trajectories, their determinants, and outcomes is important, but no study has done this beyond the fourth decade.

Methods: We used six waves of the Tasmanian Longitudinal Health Study (TAHS) to model lung function trajectories measured at 7, 13, 18, 45, 50, and 53 years. We analysed pre-bronchodilator FEV 1 z-scores at the six timepoints using group-based trajectory modelling to identify distinct subgroups of individuals whose measurements followed a similar pattern over time. We related the trajectories identified to childhood factors and risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) using logistic regression, and estimated population-attributable fractions of COPD.

Findings: Of the 8583 participants in the original cohort, 2438 had at least two waves of lung function data at age 7 years and 53 years and comprised the study population. We identified six trajectories: early below average, accelerated decline (97 [4%] participants); persistently low (136 [6%] participants); early low, accelerated growth, normal decline (196 [8%] participants); persistently high (293 [12%] participants); below average (772 [32%] participants); and average (944 [39%] participants). The three trajectories early below average, accelerated decline; persistently low; and below average had increased risk of COPD at age 53 years compared with the average group (early below average, accelerated decline: odds ratio 350, 95% CI 195640; persistently low: 95, 45206; and below average: 37, 1969). Early-life predictors of the three trajectories included childhood asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, allergic rhinitis, eczema, parental asthma, and maternal smoking. Personal smoking and active adult asthma increased the impact of maternal smoking and childhood asthma, respectively, on the early below average, accelerated decline trajectory.

Interpretation: We identified six potential FEV 1 trajectories, two of which were novel. Three trajectories contributed 75% of COPD burden and were associated with modifiable early-life exposures whose impact was aggravated by adult factors. We postulate that reducing maternal smoking, encouraging immunisation, and avoiding personal smoking, especially in those with smoking parents or low childhood lung function, might minimise COPD risk. Clinicians and patients with asthma should be made aware of the potential long-term implications of non-optimal asthma control for lung function trajectory throughout life, and the role and benefit of optimal asthma control on improving lung function should be investigated in future intervention trials.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:lung function, COPD, asthma
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Cardiovascular medicine and haematology
Research Field:Respiratory diseases
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Burgess, JA (Professor John Burgess)
UTAS Author:Johns, DP (Associate Professor David Johns)
UTAS Author:Wood-Baker, R (Professor Richard Wood-Baker)
UTAS Author:Walters, EH (Professor Haydn Walters)
ID Code:131303
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:273
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2019-03-12
Last Modified:2022-08-25

Repository Staff Only: item control page