[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The knowledge about allergic sensitization and its relationship with clinical symptoms and diseases among adults in South-East Asia is poor. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and pattern of allergic sensitization and the association with asthma and allergic rhinitis in adults in urban and rural Vietnam.
Among 5,782 responders to a questionnaire survey in northern Vietnam, a random sample was invited to a clinical follow-up and 684 (46%) participated. The methods included a structured interview using a modified GA2LEN study questionnaire on symptoms and possible determinants for diseases. Skin prick test (SPT) with ten common airborne indoor and outdoor allergens, lung function test, and methacholine test was performed among subjects <=60 years of age.
In total, one third of subjects had a positive SPT reaction to at least one allergen, 36.9% of men and 31.0% of women (n.s.). The most common sensitizer was the storage mite B.tropicalis (men 27.7%; women 18.7%) followed by house dust mite D. pteronyssinus (men 16.5%; women 10.6%), and D. farinae (men 15.3%; women 6.3%), and cockroach (men 16.5%; women 10.2%). Sensitization to all major allergens were significantly more common among men and among subjects <=45 years compared with women and subjects >45 years, respectively. The prevalence of sensitization to animals, pollen and molds were low. The majority of cockroach-sensitized subjects were also sensitized to mites. Sensitization to any allergen and all major allergens were significantly associated with rhinitis, but not with asthma. However, bronchial hyper-reactivity was significantly associated with increasing number of positive SPTs (p = 0.047).
Among adults in northern Vietnam sensitization to mite and cockroach most common in both rural and urban areas. The dominant sensitizer was the storage mite B tropicalis, which should be included in future studies and also in clinical practice, owing to its association with clinical symptoms. As in the Western world allergic sensitization was associated with rhinitis and bronchial hyper-reactivity. The lack of association with asthma in South-East Asia needs to be studied further.
Clinical and translational allergy. 02/2014; 4(1):6.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Smoking is considered to be the single most important preventable risk factor for respiratory symptoms. Estimating prevalence of respiratory symptoms is important since they most often precede a diagnosis of an obstructive airway disease, which places a major burden on the society. The aim of this study was to estimate prevalence trends of respiratory symptoms and asthma among Swedish adults, in relation to smoking habits. A further aim was to estimate the proportion of respiratory symptom and asthma prevalence attributable to smoking.
Data from two large-scale cross-sectional surveys among adults performed in northern Sweden in 1996 and 2006 were analysed. Identical methods and the same questionnaire were used in both surveys. The association between smoking, respiratory symptoms and asthma was analysed with multiple logistic regression analyses. Changes in prevalence of respiratory symptoms and asthma from 1996 to 2006 were expressed as odds ratios. Additionally, the population attributable risks of smoking were estimated.
The prevalence of most respiratory symptoms decreased significantly from 1996 to 2006. Longstanding cough decreased from 12.4 to 10.1%, sputum production from 19.0 to 15.0%, chronic productive cough from 7.3 to 6.2%, and recurrent wheeze from 13.4 to 12.0%. Any wheeze and asthmatic wheeze remained unchanged. This parallels to a decrease in smoking from 27.4 to 19.1%. In contrast, physician-diagnosed asthma increased from 9.4 to 11.6%. The patterns were similar after correction for confounders. All respiratory symptoms were highly associated with smoking, and the proportion of respiratory symptoms in the population attributed to smoking (PAR) ranged from 9.8 to 25.5%. In 2006, PAR of smoking was highest for recurrent wheeze (20.6%).
In conclusion, we found that respiratory symptoms, in particular symptoms common in bronchitis, decreased among adults in northern Sweden, parallel to a decrease in smoking from 1996 to 2006. In contrast, the prevalence of physician-diagnosed asthma increased during the same time-period. Up to one fourth of the respiratory symptom prevalence in the population was attributable to smoking.
World Allergy Organization Journal 01/2014; 7(1):1.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT BACKGROUND Passive smoking, or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), is a risk factor for lung cancer, cardiovascular disease and childhood asthma, but a relationship with COPD has not been fully established. AIM To study ETS as a risk factor for COPD in never-smokers. METHODS Data from three cross-sectional studies within the Obstructive Lung Disesease in Northern Sweden (OLIN) database were pooled. Of the 2182 lifelong never-smokers 2118 completed structured interviews and spirometry of acceptable quality. COPD was defined according to the GOLD criteria using post-bronchodilator spirometry. The association of COPD with ETS in single and multiple settings was calculated by multivariate logistic regression adjusting for known risk factors for COPD. RESULTS COPD prevalence was associated with increased ETS exposure: 4.2% (no ETS), 8.0% (ETS ever at home), 8.3% (ETS at previous work) and 14.7% (ETS ever at home and at both previous and current work), test for trend p=0.003. Exclusion of subjects aged ≥65 years and subjects reporting asthma yielded similar results. ETS in multiple settings, such as ever at home and at both previous and current work was strongly associated to COPD, OR 3.80 (95% CI 1.29-11.2). CONCLUSIONS In this population-based sample of never-smokers, ETS was independently associated with COPD. The association was stronger for ETS in multiple settings. ETS in multiple settings was, after age, the strongest risk factor for COPD and comparable to personal smoking of up to 14 cigarettes/day in comparable materials. The findings strongly advocate measures against smoking in public places.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objectives of the presented study were to estimate societal costs of COPD in Sweden, the relationship between costs and disease severity, and possible changes in the costs during the last decade.
Subjects with COPD derived from the general population in Northern Sweden were interviewed by telephone regarding their resource utilisation and productivity losses four times quarterly during 2009-10. Mean annual costs were estimated for each severity stage of COPD.
A strong relationship was found between disease severity and costs. Estimated mean annual costs per subject of mild, moderate, severe and very severe COPD amounted to 596 (SEK 5686), 3245 (SEK 30,957), 5686 (SEK 54,242), and 17,355 euros (SEK 165,569), respectively. The main cost drivers for direct costs were hospitalisations (for very severe COPD) and drugs (all other severity stages). The main cost driver for indirect costs was productivity loss due to sick-leave (for mild COPD) and early retirement (all other severity stages). Costs appeared to be lower in 2010 than in 1999 for subjects with severe and very severe COPD, but higher for those with mild and moderate COPD.
Our results show that costs of COPD are strongly related to disease severity, and scaling the data to the whole Swedish population indicates that the total costs in Sweden amounted to 1.5 billion euros (SEK 13.9 bn) in 2010. In addition, costs have decreased since 1999 for subjects with severe and very severe COPD, but increased for those with mild and moderate COPD.
Respiratory medicine 08/2013; · 2.33 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE:To date, a limited number of population-based studies have prospectively evaluated the remission of childhood asthma. This work was intended to study the remission and persistence of childhood asthma and related factors.METHODS:In 1996, a questionnaire was distributed to the parents of all children aged 7 to 8 years in 3 municipalities in northern Sweden, and 3430 (97%) participated. After a validation study, 248 children were identified as having asthma; these children were reassessed annually until age 19 years when 205 (83%) remained. During the follow-up period lung function, bronchial challenge testing, and skin prick tests were performed. Remission was defined as no use of asthma medication and no wheeze during the past 12 months as reported at endpoint and in the 2 annual surveys preceding endpoint (ie, for ≥3 years).RESULTS:At age 19 years, 21% were in remission, 38% had periodic asthma, and 41% persistent asthma. Remission was more common among boys. Sensitization to furred animals and a more severe asthma (asthma score ≥2) at age 7 to 8 years were both inversely associated with remission, odds ratio 0.14 (95% confidence interval 0.04-0.55) and 0.19 (0.07-0.54), respectively. Among children with these 2 characteristics, 82% had persistent asthma during adolescence. Asthma heredity, damp housing, rural living, and smoking were not associated with remission.CONCLUSIONS:The probability of remission of childhood asthma from age 7- to 8-years to age 19 years was largely determined by sensitization status, particularly sensitization to animals, asthma severity, and female gender, factors all inversely related to remission.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Studies on time trends of allergic sensitization among adults are rare. The aim of the study was to compare the prevalence of allergic sensitization to common airborne allergens among adults 15 years apart and to identify risk factors for allergic sensitization. METHODS: Clinical examinations including skin prick test (SPT) and structured interviews were performed in two random population samples in 1994 and 2009. Furthermore, specific IgE was analyzed in 2009. SPT data were available for 483 subjects in 1994 and for 463 subjects in 2009 in ages 20--60 years. Specific IgE was analyzed in 692 subjects in ages 20--79 years. RESULTS: Sensitization to cat (16% to 26%, p < 0.001), dog (13% to 25%, p < 0.001), birch (13% to 18%, p = 0.031) and timothy (12% to 21%, p < 0.001), based on SPT, increased significantly from 1994 to 2009. Sensitization to any positive SPT increased from 35% to 39%, p = 0.13.The proportion of having >=3 positive SPT reactions increased from 40% to 56%, p = 0.002. The sensitization pattern yielded similar results based on specific IgE. Risk factors for allergic sensitization were having a family history of allergy (OR 3.1, 95% CI 2.0-4.8 for any positive SPT; OR 2.7, 95% CI 1.8-4.0 for any elevated IgE) and urban living (OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.0-2.7; OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.0-2.4). CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of allergic sensitization to major airborne allergens as well as multi-sensitization increased significantly between the study years. Young age, a family history of allergy and urban living were significant risk factors for allergic sensitization.
Allergy Asthma and Clinical Immunology 06/2013; 9(1):20.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Our aim was to study the association of smoking habits and environmental tobacco smoke exposure (ETS) with bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR).A random sample of 292 adults was examined with a structured interview, spirometry, skin prick tests, FeNO (fractional exhaled nitric oxide) and bronchial histamine challenge.A large majority of subjects with BHR were smokers or ex-smokers. Starting to smoke before 20 years of age was significantly associated with BHR, as did current smoking, the quantity of smoking, and ETS. The severity of BHR increased significantly with increasing pack years (p<0.001). Current smokers with decreased lung function were at a particularly high risk for BHR. Impaired FEV1 and MEF50 were independent determinants for more severe BHR regardless of age. In multivariate analysis, smoking remained as an independent determinant for BHR after adjustment for impaired lung function and other co-variates: 15 or more pack years yielded an OR 3.00 (95%CI 1.33-6.76) for BHR. The association between BHR and FeNO was dependent on smoking habits.The results indicate that smoking is a significant risk factor for BHR with a dose-dependent pattern and that the severity of BHR increases with pack years. The findings strongly suggest assessment of smoking habits in subjects with BHR.
European Respiratory Journal 05/2013; · 6.36 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: After 10 years of a decrease in smoking among young people in Sweden, we now have indications of increased smoking. AIMS: To provide up-to-date information on the prevalence of smoking and smoke-associated respiratory symptoms in young adults in Sweden, with a special focus on possible gender differences. METHODS: In the West Sweden Asthma Study, a detailed postal questionnaire focusing on asthma, respiratory symptoms, and possible risk factors was mailed to 30,000 randomly selected subjects aged 16-75 years. The analyses are based on responses from 2,702 subjects aged 16-25 years. RESULTS: More young women than men were smokers (23.5% vs. 15.9%; p<0.001). Women started smoking earlier and smoked more. Symptoms such as longstanding cough, sputum production, and wheeze were significantly more common in smokers. In the multiple logistic regression analysis, smoking significantly increased the risk of recurrent wheeze (odds ratio (OR) 2.0 (95% CI 1.4 to 3.0)) and sputum production, (OR 2.4 (95% CI 1.9 to 3.1)). CONCLUSIONS: The alarmingly high prevalence of smoking among young women was parallel to a similarly high prevalence of bronchitis symptoms. This is worrisome, both in itself and because maternal smoking is a risk factor for illness in the child. Adverse respiratory effects of smoking occur within only a few years of smoking initiation.
Primary care respiratory journal: journal of the General Practice Airways Group 05/2013;
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is globally a major, but often undiagnosed, cause of morbidity and mortality. The aims of this study were to assess the prevalence of COPD in Helsinki, Finland, with international diagnostic criteria and to analyse risk factors including socioeconomic status, and disease severity. Methods: A general population sample of 628 adults (368 women) completed flow-volume spirometry with bronchodilation test and a structured interview. Post-bronchodilation spirometry was assessed both using the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) criteria and relative to the fifth percentile of the reference value (lower limit of normal, LLN). Results: According to GOLD criteria, 37 (5.9%), and by using the LLN criteria, 43 subjects (6.8%) had airway obstruction consistent with COPD. Using the GOLD criteria, four subjects or 0.6% of the population had severe, 3.0% moderate, and 2.2% mild COPD. Of those with post-bronchodilator obstruction, 49% had no previous diagnosis of obstructive airways disease and did not use medication for any respiratory disease. The prevalence of undiagnosed COPD defined by GOLD was 2.9% (LLN 3.3%). In addition to age, smoking history, and prior history of asthma, socioeconomic status based on occupation was significantly related to COPD in the population. Manual workers in industry (GOLD 10.0%, LLN 11.7%) and non-manual assistant employees (10.2%, 10.2%) had a significantly higher prevalence of COPD than professionals (2.8%, 2.3%). Conclusions: Although smoking is the main modifiable risk factor for COPD, the disease was significantly related to manual workers and non-manual assistant employees, i.e. socioeconomic groups reflecting occupation.
Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 04/2013; · 1.97 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective. To investigate respiratory symptoms and respiratory-related absence from work among Swedish health care workers (HCW). Methods. From a postal questionnaire study among a general Swedish working population (n=12 186), we identified 2156 HCW (555 assistant nurses, 377 nurses, 109 physicians and 1115 others), including 429 with mainly cleaning tasks (HCW-cleaning). The remaining respondents were classified as non-HCW. Multiple logistic regressions with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were used to compare respiratory symptoms and related absence from work between HCW and non-HCW, adjusting for potential confounders. Results. The prevalence of adult onset asthma was 4.3% in HCW and 3.0% in non-HCW (p=0.003). Asthmatic symptoms during the past year were reported mainly by HCW-cleaning, 14.7%, in comparison to 8.3% among non-HCW (p<0.0001). HCW had an increased odds ratio (OR) for asthmatic symptoms during the past year (OR 1.3, CI [1.1-1.5]) and more prominent among assistant nurses (OR 1.5 [1.1-2.0]) and HCW-cleaning (OR 1.9 [1.4-2.5]). Respiratory-related absence from work in the past year was reported by 1.4% of non-HCW, 3.0% of HCW-cleaning, 2.9% of nurses and 1.6% of assistant nurses. Taking smoking and age into account, there was still significantly increased respiratory-related absence from work in nurses (OR 2.0 [1.1-3.8]) and in HCW-cleaning (OR 2.1 [1.2-3.7]). Conclusions. HCW in Sweden, especially those with cleaning tasks, reported more respiratory symptoms and respiratory-related absence from work than the general working population. There is a need for longitudinal studies with detailed information on both occupational exposures and socioeconomic factors to explore what influences respiratory-related absence from work among HCW.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is evidence that both personality traits and personal beliefs about medications affect adherence behavior. However, limited research exists on how personality and beliefs about asthma medication interact in influencing adherence behavior in people with asthma. To extend our knowledge in this area of adherence research, we aimed to determine the mediating effects of beliefs about asthma medication between personality traits and adherence behavior.
Asthmatics (n=516) selected from a population-based study called West Sweden Asthma Study completed the Neuroticism, Extraversion and Openness to Experience Five-Factor Inventory, the Medication Adherence Report Scale, and the Beliefs about Medicines Questionnaire. Data were analyzed using confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling.
Three of the five investigated personality traits - agreeableness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism - were associated with both concerns about asthma medication and adherence behavior. Concerns functioned as a partial mediator for the influencing effects of agreeableness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism on adherence behavior.
The findings suggest that personality traits could be used to identify individuals with asthma who need support with their adherence behavior. Additionally, targeting concerns about asthma medication in asthmatics with low levels of agreeableness or conscientiousness or high levels of neuroticism could have a favorable effect on their adherence behavior.
Patient Preference and Adherence 01/2013; 7:1101-9. · 1.33 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Women who smoke have higher risk of lung function impairment, COPD and lung cancer than smoking men. An influence of sex hormones has been demonstrated, but the mechanisms are unclear and the associations often subject to confounding. This was a study of wheeze in relation to smoking and sex with adjustment for important confounders.
In 2008 the Global Allergy and Asthma European Network (GA(2)LEN) questionnaire was mailed to 45.000 Swedes (age 16-75 years), and 26.851 (60%) participated. "Any wheeze": any wheeze during the last 12 months. "Asthmatic wheeze": wheeze with breathlessness apart from colds.
Any wheeze and asthmatic wheeze was reported by 17.3% and 7.1% of women, vs. 15.8% and 6.1% of men (both p<0.001). Although smoking prevalence was similar in both sexes, men had greater cumulative exposure, 16.2 pack-years vs. 12.8 in women (p<0.001). Most other exposures and characteristics associated with wheeze were significantly overrepresented in men. Adjusted for these potential confounders and pack-years, current smoking was a stronger risk factor for any wheeze in women aged <53 years, adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.85 (1.56-2.19) vs. 1.60 (1.30-1.96) in men. Cumulative smoke exposure and current smoking each interacted significantly with female sex, aOR 1.02 per pack-year (p<0.01) and aOR 1.28 (p = 0.04) respectively. Female compared to male current smokers also had greater risk of asthmatic wheeze, aOR 1.53 vs. 1.03, interaction aOR 1.52 (p = 0.02). These interactions were not seen in age ≥53 years.
In addition to the increased risk of COPD and lung cancer female, compared to male, smokers are at greater risk of significant wheezing symptoms in younger age. This became clearer after adjustment for important confounders including cumulative smoke exposure. Estrogen has previously been shown to increase the bioactivation of several compounds in tobacco smoke, which may enhance smoke-induced airway inflammation in fertile women.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(1):e54137. · 3.73 Impact Factor