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Eosinophil levels predict lung function deterioration in apparently healthy individuals

Authors Shapira U, Krubiner M, Ehrenwald M, Shapira I, Zeltser D, Berliner S, Rogowski O, Shenhar-Tsarfaty S, Bar-Shai A

Received 30 October 2018

Accepted for publication 28 December 2018

Published 7 March 2019 Volume 2019:14 Pages 597—603


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Udi Shapira,1 Mor Krubiner,1 Michal Ehrenwald,1 Itzhak Shapira,1 David Zeltser,1 Shlomo Berliner,1 Ori Rogowski,1 Shani Shenhar-Tsarfaty,1 Amir Bar-Shai2

1Department of Internal Medicine C, D and E, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center and Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel; 2Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Barzilai Medical Center, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University, Ashkelon, Israel

Background: While chronic respiratory diseases are among the leading causes of mortality and morbidity worldwide, little is known about the effect of blood eosinophil levels on lung function trajectories among healthy individuals.
Methods: We analyzed data of apparently healthy individuals (n=18,089) recruited for the Tel Aviv Medical Center Inflammation Survey. Blood eosinophil levels were compared between participants with normal and those with abnormal lung function. Multivariate regression was used to assess the OR of forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) deterioration according to baseline eosinophils in subjects with normal lung function (n=4,141) during a follow-up period of 4 years.
Results: Participants with an abnormal, as opposed to a normal, pulmonary function test (PFT) (n=1,832, 10.1%) had significantly higher eosinophil levels, expressed as a percentage or count (2.99%±2.00% compared to 2.67%±1.88% and 0.2210e3/µL±0.163/µL compared to 0.1810e3/µL±0.183/µL, respectively; P<0.001 for both). Among participants with a normal
PFT at baseline, those with an eosinophil percentage higher than 4% showed a higher risk for FEV1 decline above 60 mL/year (OR=1.199, 95% CI=1.005–1.431, P=0.044).
Conclusion: Our study suggests that higher blood eosinophil levels can predict PFT deterioration even in apparently healthy subjects, implying that these individuals could benefit from frequent lung function evaluation.

Keywords: normal population, eosinophils, lung function, trajectory, inflammation

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