Influence of nocturnal asthma on chronotype

J Asthma. 2008 Dec;45(10):911-5. doi: 10.1080/02770900802395470.


Individual differences in circadian rhythm have been studied since the past century. Chronotypes are a chronobiology classification based on the preferential times for beginning and ending activities throughout the day. Chronotypes can be classified as definitely morning, moderately morning, indifferent, moderately evening, and definitely evening. We aim to assess the distribution of chronotypes in asthmatics and the relationship of chronotype to the presence of nocturnal symptoms. Two hundred subjects were evaluated, 100 asthmatics and 100 non-asthmatics. The Morningness/Eveningness questionnaire was applied for chronotype determination. The asthmatics were subdivided according to the presence or absence of nocturnal symptoms. The chronotype distribution did not differ significantly between asthmatics and non-asthmatics. Thirty-five percent of the asthma group reported nocturnal symptoms. There was a significant difference in chronotype distribution between asthmatics with and without nocturnal worsening. The asthmatics with nocturnal symptoms had a lower prevalence of morning types and had a greater predominance of indifferent chronotype compared to asthmatics without nocturnal symptoms (p = 0.011). In conclusion, asthmatics with nocturnal symptoms present deviation from the chronotype distribution curve when compared to asthmatics without nocturnal symptoms. This is the first study to show the effect of a disease on chronotypes.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asthma / classification*
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult