Asthma may increase the risk of bacterial infection of the lungs, says a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Researchers had studied persons of age between 2 to 49 years for a period of one year. For each of 635 persons with invasive pneumococcal disease, 10 persons of the same population were chosen as controls. Asthma was defined by the study as proof of diagnosis of asthma by the emergency room, or the inpatient or outpatient department of the medical center.
18% of the persons with asthma had once suffered from invasive pneumococcal disease, and 8% of the control population had suffered at least once from it. For persons with high-risk asthma, the annual incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease was more than that for persons with low risk asthma, or belonging to the control group. High risk asthma have been defined as asthma that requires to be treated with use of rescue therapy or long term use of oral corticosteroids, being prescribes at least thrice for the use of -agonists in the year before the beginning of the study.
The results of the study had concluded that asthma is an independent risk for invasive pneumococcal disease and the risk is almost double for asthma patients than that for people with no history of asthma.
Reference: New England Journal of Medicine, May 2005