Background: Although asthma in adult patients is responsible for a large proportion of the morbidity in primary care practice, there is minimal published information on comorbid conditions associated with asthma. The objective of this study was to compare the prevalence of common medical conditions in adult asthmatic and non-asthmatic subjects.
Methods: A case control study was conducted on a population of 4341 men and women aged 18 years or older. The prevalence of 17 medical conditions was measured in asthmatics (n = 141) and non-asthmatic subjects (n = 423) registered with a primary care practice.
Results: The most prevalent conditions among asthmatics were: hypertension (22.7%), diabetes (16.3%), and hiatal hernia with or without gastroesophageal reflux (13.5%), while cerebrovascular accident (1.0%) and depression (0.7%) had the lowest prevalence. The most common conditions among non-asthmatics were: hypertension (25.1%), obesity (13.9%), and diabetes (12.5%), while sinusitis, and glaucoma (1.4%) had the lowest prevalence. The odds ratios in asthmatics vs. non-asthmatics were for hiatal hernia 5.83 (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.56-13.5, p < 0.0001), chronic bronchitis 6.31 (95% CI 2.58-15.70, p < 0.001), gastric ulcer 2.55 (95% CI 0.95-6.81, p < 0.04), sinusitis 6.3 (95% CI 1.69-25.29, p < 0.001), and glaucoma 3.1 (95% CI 0.90-11.0, p < 0.04).
Conclusions: A different pattern of comorbid conditions was observed. Recognition of these conditions is essential for the proper management of asthma and coexisting disorders.