Incidence of asthma and its determinants among adults in Spain

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2001 Oct 1;164(7):1133-7. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.164.7.2012143.


The objective was to measure the incidence of asthma and its determinants in Spain, where the prevalence of asthma is low to medium. A follow-up of subjects participating in the European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS) was conducted in 1998- 1999 (n = 1,640, 85% of those eligible). Subjects were randomly selected from the general population and were 20 to 44 yr old in 1991-1993. Time of follow-up was on average 6.75 yr (range, 5.3 to 7.9 yr). Asthma was defined as reporting ever having had asthma. The incidence of asthma was 5.53 (95% confidence interval, 4.28- 7.16) per 1,000 person-years (6.88 in females, 4.04 in males). Incidence was highest in subjects who at the baseline survey had bronchial hyperresponsiveness (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 3.85), in those with positive IgE against timothy grass (IRR, 3.16), and in females (IRR, 1.80). These results persisted after adjusting for respiratory symptoms at baseline. There was no significant association (p < 0.2) with high total serum IgE, atopy defined by reactivity to any allergen, smoking, occupational exposure, or maternal asthma. A sensitivity analysis using four definitions of population at risk yielded incidence rates varying from 5.53 to 1.50. In this population of subjects without self-reported asthma or asthma-type symptoms at baseline, bronchial hyperresponsiveness and IgE reactivity to grass appeared as the main determinants of new asthma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asthma / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Poisson Distribution
  • Prevalence
  • Spain / epidemiology