Association between allergy and asthma from childhood to middle adulthood in an Australian cohort study

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2000 Dec;162(6):2177-81. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.162.6.9812019.


A cohort of 378 asthmatic children was studied from 7 to 35 yr of age at 7-yr intervals. On selection for inclusion in the study sample, the children had a wide range of severity of wheezing. At each 7-yr review, asthma severity, the presence of eczema or hay fever, and skin test reactivity to house dust mite or rye grass were recorded by questionnaire or clinical interview. We report on the course of asthma and these atopic conditions over the study period and discuss associations between the two phenomena. The presence of an atopic condition in childhood was found to increase the odds of more severe asthma in later life (odds ratio [OR] = 1.66, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.17 to 2.36 in the case of eczema; OR = 1. 39, 95% CI: 1.00 to 1.92 for hay fever; and OR = 2.25, 95% CI: 1.49 to 3.39 for skin test reactivity). Additionally, the odds of eczema and hay fever in later life increased with severity of asthma in childhood. The findings of this study provide substantially new quantitative information on the extent of association between asthma and atopic conditions from childhood into middle adulthood.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Asthma / diagnosis*
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Respiratory Hypersensitivity / diagnosis*
  • Respiratory Sounds / diagnosis
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Victoria