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Factors influencing asthma remission: a longitudinal study from childhood to middle age


Burgess, JA and Matheson, MC and Gurrin, LC and Byrnes, GB and Adams, KS and Wharton, CL and Giles, GG and Jenkins, MA and Hopper, JL and Abramson, MJ and Walters, EH and Dharmage, SC, Factors influencing asthma remission: a longitudinal study from childhood to middle age, Thorax, 66, (6) pp. 508-513. ISSN 0040-6376 (2011) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright © Walters, EH 2011. Produced by BMJ Publishing Group Ltd under licence

DOI: doi:10.1136/thx.2010.146845


Objective To examine asthma remission from childhood to middle age. Methods This was a population-based cohort study. In 1968 the Tasmanian Longitudinal Health Study enrolled 8583 7-year-old Tasmanian schoolchildren who were re-surveyed in 2004. Those reporting ever having asthma when last surveyed completed another questionnaire in 2007 ascertaining age at last asthma attack and asthma medication use. The main outcome measure was asthma remission, defined as no asthma attack for 2 years and no current asthma medication use, or no self-reported asthma in adult life but with parent-reported childhood asthma. Results Of 5729 respondents to the 2004 survey, 1238 self-reported asthma. A further 573 denied asthma, but had parent-reported childhood asthma, giving a study sample of 1811. Asthma had remitted in 1177 (65.0%) of whom 649 (55.1%) were male. Childhood (OR 0.38, 95% CI 0.25 to 0.58) and later-onset allergic rhinitis (0.42, 0.29 to 0.63), childhood (0.66, 0.47 to 0.94) and later-onset eczema (0.66, 0.47 to 0.92), maternal asthma (0.66, 0.47 to 0.92) and childhood chronic bronchitis (0.56, 0.41 to 0.76) were negatively associated with remission. There was weaker evidence for a negative association between passive smoking (0.75, 0.54 to 1.04) and lower socio-economic status (p-trend 0.09) and remission. Childhood-onset asthma (3.76, 2.58 to 5.49) was more likely to remit than adult-onset asthma. Adult smoking was positively associated with remission in childhood-onset asthma (1.49, 1.06 to 2.09). Sex did not influence remission. Conclusion While inherited factors cannot be changed, the effect of allergic rhinitis or eczema on asthma remission might be altered by early, aggressive treatment. Every effort should be made to lessen passive exposure to tobacco smoke.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
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:Walters, EH (Professor Haydn Walters)
ID Code:72549
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:70
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2011-08-29
Last Modified:2012-03-26

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