Study: Asthma in Early Life Increases CV Risk Later

Atopic diseases, including asthma, hay fever, and eczema, at a young age are associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease in adulthood, according to a recent study.

For their study, researchers collected data from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey, involving 13,275 children 17 years old and younger. Among the participants, 14% had asthma, 12% had had eczema, and 17% had hay fever.
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After adjusting for weight, researchers found that asthma and hay fever were both associated with a 1.3% and 1.14% increase in the risk of hypertension, respectively, and an increase in the risk of high cholesterol of just under 1%.

Researchers offered both inflammation occurring in asthma and hay fever as well as increased rates of sedentary lifestyle in those with the diseases as possible reasons for the correlation.

“This study shows that cardiovascular risk starts far earlier in life than we ever realized…Given how common these allergic diseases are in childhood, it suggests we need to screen these children more aggressively to make sure we are not missing high cholesterol and high blood pressure," researchers said. "There may be an opportunity to modify their lifestyles and turn this risk around."

—Michael Potts

Reference:

Northwestern University. Children with common allergies have twice heart disease risk [press release]. December 8, 2015. http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2015/12/children-with-common-allergies-have-twice-heart-disease-risk.html.