Later-life asthma increases the risk of heart disease and stroke

By: Emily Lunardo | Health News | Sunday, August 28, 2016 - 10:30 AM

Later-life asthma increases the risk of heart disease and strokeAdult development of asthma has been linked to pose risks to the heart. The latest findings looked at nearly 1,300 adults who did not have heart disease at the beginning of the study.

Of the participants, 111 were diagnosed with asthma as adults and 55 were diagnosed with asthma as kids. The participants were tracked for 14 years.

The researchers found among those who were diagnosed with asthma as adults they had a 57 percent higher risk of heart disease, stroke, heart failure, angina, or heart-related death compared to those who did not develop asthma or those who were diagnosed as children.

Lead researcher Dr. Matthew Tattersall said based on the findings “doctors should be monitoring for high blood pressure and cholesterol closely in these patients and be aggressive in modifying any risk factors. Though it’s usually not recognized as such, there are several different types of asthma, each with some unique features. We looked at the type known as late-onset asthma, which tends to be more severe and more difficult to control with medicines than asthma that begins in childhood.”

It’s important to note that the study was observational and so it does not reveal cause and effect. A possible explanation is that air pollution is linked with atherosclerosis which has been revealed in previous studies.

A take-away from the study is that persons with asthma should do what they can to reduce their risk of heart conditions including eating well, exercising, not smoking, and maintaining a healthy weight.

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Related Reading:

Asthma overdiagnosed in estimated 30 percent of Canadians: Study

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