Late-onset asthma linked to heart risks

People who develop asthma during adulthood may have an increased risk of developing heart disease and suffering a stroke, a recent study has found.

According to US researchers, asthma that begins in adulthood - known as late-onset asthma - tends to be more severe and difficult to control than asthma that begins in childhood.

They decided to assess this further. They looked at almost 1,300 adults with no history of heart disease. The participants were monitored for over 14 years.

Among those with asthma, the average age of diagnosis for those in the late-onset group was 39 years. The average age of diagnosis among those who developed the condition as children was eight years.

The researchers tracked all heart-related events over the study period and took into account risk factors such as smoking, overweight, diabetes and high blood pressure.

When all of these factors were taken into account, they found that those with late-onset asthma were 57% more likely to suffer a heart-related event, such as a stroke, compared to people without asthma.

Those with early-onset asthma did not appear to have any increased heart risks when compared to those without asthma.

The study also noted that those with late-onset asthma were more likely to be female and to have a higher body mass index (BMI) compared to people without asthma.

The researchers believe that doctors and other healthcare professionals should pay close attention to heart-related risk factors in patients who present with late-onset asthma.

"Doctors should be monitoring for high blood pressure and cholesterol closely in these patients and be aggressive in modifying any risk factors," they said.

They advised those who develop asthma during adulthood to consume a healthy diet, exercise regularly and maintain a normal body weight.

Details of these findings are published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.


[Posted: Wed 07/09/2016]

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