- Adult onset asthma is when the
asthma symptoms appear and diagnosed in adults who are over 20 years of
- Link between adult/late onset
asthma and heart disease risk identified
- Physicians should pay attention to
heart disease risk factors in late-onset asthma patients
People who develop asthma
(adult onset asthma) are at an increased risk of developing heart disease and
having a stroke.
You might think that asthma starts in the childhood
But it's quite common for people to be diagnosed
with asthma when they're an adult. This condition is known as "adult or late
onset asthma" and women are more likely to develop asthma after the age 20.
‘Adult or Late-onset asthmatics were 57% more likely to suffer a cardiovascular event than non-asthmatics. They were more likely to be females and suffer from obesity.’
Research team headed by Matthew C. Tattersall, followed 1269
adults of average age 47 without heart disease history for over 14 years.
The average age of asthma diagnosis in the late-onset group (defined
in this study as beginning at age 18 or older) was 39.5 years vs. 8.9 years in
the early-onset group.
At the start of the study, 166 participants had asthma out of which
111 cases were late-onset and 55 people were early-onset. Participants chosen
for the study are part of the ongoing Wisconsin Sleep Cohort that begun in 1988
to investigate sleep, respiratory and cardiovascular health.
During the course of the study period, researchers tracked
cardiovascular events, including heart attack, stroke, heart failure, angina,
cardiac revascularization and cardiovascular death. Risk factors for cardiovascular disease
such as smoking, hypertension, diabetes and obesity that might bias results
- People with late-onset asthma were
57% more likely to suffer a cardiovascular event than non-asthmatics.
- People with late onset asthma
compared to non-asthmatics were more likely to be females (67 percent vs
44 percent) and to have a higher body-mass index (BMI, 32.2 vs 29.4
- People with early-onset asthma had
no difference in cardiovascular disease events compared to people without
Childhood Asthma and Adult Onset Asthma
- Asthma symptoms in childhood may
come and go, but asthma symptoms in adults may be continuous.
- Lower lung capacity in adults may
lead to misdiagnosis of adult onset asthma.
Causes of Adult Onset
Symptoms of Adult
"Though it's usually not recognized as such, there are several
different types of asthma, each with some unique features,"
- Dry cough - especially at night
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath
- Breathing difficulties
said Matthew C. Tattersall, D.O., M.S., study lead author and
assistant professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of
Medicine and Public Health in Madison. "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."
According to the research team,
Late onset asthma
a) Is difficult to control
B) Triggered by air
that leads to decline in lung function
Tattersall said "Doctors should be monitoring for high blood
pressure and cholesterol closely in these patients and be aggressive in
modifying any risk factors,"
Limitations of the Study
- Most study participants were white
- Information about key factors such
as air pollution exposure and stressful life events, were not available
Ways to Manage Adult
Late onset asthma patients can improve their chances of keeping a
healthy heart and diminish their risk of stroke by following a healthy
- Regular exercising
- Eating a healthy diet
- Maintaining a normal weight
The research is published in Journal
of the American Heart Association
, the Open Access Journal of the American
Heart Association/American Stroke Association.
- Late-onset asthma linked to increased heart disease, stroke risk - (http://www.eurekalert.org/emb_releases/2016-08/aha-lal082216.php)
- Adult Onset Asthma - (http://asthmaandallergies.org/asthma-allergies/adult-onset-asthma/)
- Types of asthma - (https://www.asthma.org.uk/advice/understanding-asthma/types/#adult)