New research from the University of Cincinnati suggests that a lifetime history of daily smoking and nicotine dependence can increase the risk of asthma.
The study analyzed data from the National Comorbity Survey-Replication (NCS-R) - a large epidemiological survey of American adults.
The study found that individuals who were diagnosed with asthma were 1.26 times more likely to have been a smoker, and twice as likely to have been nicotine dependent at some point in their lifetimes - compared to individuals without asthma. The researchers also found that the asthma-smoking association was stronger when focusing on nicotine dependence in the past 12 months.
"Individuals with asthma were nearly three times as likely as those without asthma to have reported nicotine dependence in the past 12 months after controlling for demographic and drug abuse/dependence variables," the authors state in the article.
The study also found that roughly half of the smokers with asthma in the survey indicated that they began smoking prior to the age that they were diagnosed with asthma.
The findings are reported in the online preview issue of the Journal of Health Psychology.