Risk factors for incident asthma and COPD in a cohort of young adults

Lisbet Krogh Traulsen*, Jesper Bælum, Anders Halling, Gert Thomsen, Trine Thilsing, David Lee Sherson, Torben Sigsgaard, Øyvind Omland, Tine Halsen Malling, Lars Rauff Skadhauge

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Introduction: The aim of the study was to describe potential shared risk factors for incident asthma and COPD in a population-based, 9-year follow-up study. Methods: From a cohort of 1191 individuals, aged 20-44, who participated in baseline survey including spirometry, bronchial challenge, and skin prick test (SPT) 742 subjects (62%) were reexamined at follow-up in 2012-2014. Results: A total of 27 incident cases of asthma and 22 cases of COPD were identified at follow-up corresponding to an incidence rate of 5.8 (95% CI 3.9-8.4) and 3.5 (2.2-5.3) per 1000 person years, respectively. Among the identified COPD cases a total of 12 were Asthma-COPD Overlap Syndrome (ACOS). Atopy defined by positive SPT was a risk factor for asthma in males (OR 7.54; 95% CI 1.24-45.90), whereas risk factors in females were nasal allergy (3.81; 1.20-12.11), FEV1<100% predicted (3.96; 1.07-14.62) and parental asthma (3.06; 1.00-9.40). Risk factors for COPD in males were bronchial hyperresponsiveness (23.13; 1.41-380.50) and FEV1<100% predicted (all male cases had FEV1<100% predicted) and in females current smoking (3.34; 1.16-9.59) and asthma at baseline (5.21; 1.48-18.34). Conclusions: No shared risk factors for incident asthma and COPD were found. Despite low power when stratifying by sex risk factors for incident asthma and COPD emphasize considerable gender differences.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Respiratory Journal
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)1021-1029
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Risk factors for incident asthma and COPD in a cohort of young adults, which has been published in final form at 10.1111/crj.12622. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving


  • Adult
  • Asthma/diagnosis
  • Comorbidity/trends
  • Denmark/epidemiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Population Surveillance/methods
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/diagnosis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Skin Tests
  • Spirometry
  • Time Factors
  • Vital Capacity
  • Young Adult
  • cohort study
  • epidemiology
  • asthma
  • risk factor
  • adult
  • COPD


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