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Determinants of airflow limitation in Danish adults – findings from the Health2006 cohort

Authors Baarnes CB, Thuesen BH, Linneberg A, Ulrik CS

Received 11 May 2018

Accepted for publication 30 September 2018

Published 26 March 2019 Volume 2019:14 Pages 713—718


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 5

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Camilla Boslev Baarnes,1 Betina H Thuesen,2 Allan Linneberg,2,3 Charlotte Suppli Ulrik1,3

1Department of Respiratory Medicine, Hvidovre Hospital, Hvidovre, Denmark; 2Center for Clinical Research and Disease Prevention, Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospital, The Capital Region, Copenhagen, Denmark; 3Institute of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

Background and aim: Airflow limitation may be found in patients with both asthma and COPD and is often associated with more symptoms and poorer outcome. We aimed to identify factors associated with airflow limitation in a well-characterized, population-based sample of adults.
Methods: From the Health2006 cohort, we selected participants aged ≥35 years at enrolment (n=2,959). Airflow limitation was defined as FEV1/FVC < lower limit of normal. Participants with (cases) and without (controls) airflow limitation were compared with regard to self-reported symptoms, medical history, atopy, lung function and exhaled nitric oxide. Between-group differences were analyzed using Chi-square and Mann–Whitney U tests, and effect size was estimated by logistic regression (reported as OR and 95% CI).
Results: We identified 313 cases, majority of which were female, reported poor overall health, physically inactivity and experienced respiratory symptoms within the previous year. The presence of airflow limitation was associated with BMI (OR 3.1 for overweight, P<0.001, CI 1.97–4.78), age (OR 2.3, P<0.001 for age 55+, CI 1.7–3.2), tobacco exposure (OR 1.6, P=0.01, CI 1.1–2.32, and OR 1.76, P=0.019, CI 1.2–2.3 for former and current smokers, respectively), sex (OR 1.6 for being female, P=0.002, CI 1.2–2.2), presence of specific IgE to common aeroallergen(s) (OR 1.4, P=0.041, CI 1.2–2.0), and ever being diagnosed with asthma (OR 1.6, P=0.003, CI 1.3–2.0).
Conclusion: Apart from tobacco exposure and age, the presence of airflow limitation was associated with being overweight, female, sensitized to common aeroallergens or ever having a diagnosis of asthma.

Keywords: epidemiology, cohort study, asthma, COPD, risk factors

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