Factors influencing the occurrence of airway hyperreactivity in the general population: the importance of atopy and airway calibre.

Respiratory Medicine Unit, City Hospital, Nottingham, UK.
European Respiratory Journal (Impact Factor: 7.13). 06/1994; 7(5):881-7.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The factors that determine the occurrence of airway hyperreactivity in the general population are not clearly understood. This study was designed to assess the independent effects of age, atopy, smoking and airway calibre. In a random sample of 2,415 adults aged 18-70 yrs we measured reactivity to methacholine as the dose provoking a 20% fall (PD20) in one-second forced expiratory volume (FEV1), atopy as the mean skin wheal response to three common environmental allergens, and airway calibre as the baseline FEV1 in absolute terms, as percent predicted (FEV1 % predicted) and as percent forced vital capacity (FEV1 % FVC). Hyperreactivity, defined as a PD20 < or = 12.25 mumol, was present in 314 (13%) of the sample, and before adjustment for FEV1 was more common in females (independent odds ratio (OR) = 2.05 (95% confidence interval 1.6-2.7)), current smokers (OR = 1.89 (1.3-2.6)), atopics (OR = 1.39 (1.3-1.5) per mm skin wheal), and in older age groups (OR for age 60-70 yrs relative to 18-29 yrs = 2.70 (1.7-4.3)). However, the odds of hyperreactivity were also strongly and independently related to absolute FEV1 (OR = 0.46 (0.27-0.77) per litre), FEV1 % predicted (OR = 0.96 (0.94-0.98) per percent), and FEV1 % FVC (OR = 0.92 (0.90-0.94) per percent; combined chi-square on 3 df = 312, p < 0.0001).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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    ABSTRACT: Airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and airway inflammation are key pathophysiological features of asthma. Bronchial provocation tests (BPTs) are objective tests for AHR that are clinically useful to aid in the diagnosis of asthma in both adults and children. BPTs can be either "direct" or "indirect," referring to the mechanism by which a stimulus mediates bronchoconstriction. Direct BPTs refer to the administration of pharmacological agonist (e.g., methacholine or histamine) that act on specific receptors on the airway smooth muscle. Airway inflammation and/or airway remodeling may be key determinants of the response to direct stimuli. Indirect BPTs are those in which the stimulus causes the release of mediators of bronchoconstriction from inflammatory cells (e.g., exercise, allergen, mannitol). Airway sensitivity to indirect stimuli is dependent upon the presence of inflammation (e.g., mast cells, eosinophils), which responds to treatment with inhaled corticosteroids (ICS). Thus, there is a stronger relationship between indices of steroid-sensitive inflammation (e.g., sputum eosinophils, fraction of exhaled nitric oxide) and airway sensitivity to indirect compared to direct stimuli. Regular treatment with ICS does not result in the complete inhibition of responsiveness to direct stimuli. AHR to indirect stimuli identifies individuals that are highly likely to have a clinical improvement with ICS therapy in association with an inhibition of airway sensitivity following weeks to months of treatment with ICS. To comprehend the clinical utility of direct or indirect stimuli in either diagnosis of asthma or monitoring of therapeutic intervention requires an understanding of the underlying pathophysiology of AHR and mechanisms of action of both stimuli.
    Frontiers in Physiology 01/2012; 3:460.
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    Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases 01/2006; 61(5).
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Asymptomatic airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) represents a risk of further accelerated decline in lung function, and of asthma. Due to the fact that rare and contradictory results exist concerning the impact of obesity on BHR, we re-assessed the prevalence of bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) in a large cohort of 60 lean, 84 overweight and 360 class 1-3 obese non-asthmatic individuals, by coupled plethysmography and spirometry. Methods: Baseline specific airway conductance (SGaw) and spirometric values were measured and then a methacholine challenge testing (MCT) was performed and considered as positive when a ≥ 200 % increase in specific airway resistance (SRaw = 1/SGaw) was reached. Results: Compared to lean and overweight subjects, obese subjects of any class presented about a twice more frequent AHR (∼ 50 % in obese vs. 17 and 26 % in lean and overweight subjects, respectively). However, the bronchial sensitivity (methacholine dose doubling SRaw) and the shape of the relationship between SGaw and cumulative methacholine doses were the same in the 5 five groups of individuals. Conclusion: The present data show a more frequent AHR in obese subjects. The association of plethysmography with spirometry, by taking into account the bronchodilator effect of the lung inflation (preceding the expiratory flow measurement) in some individuals, permitted to include some MCT which would have been otherwise excluded.
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