Objective: Asthma is a chronic disease involving airway hyperresponsiveness. It was proposed that asthma/chronic shortness of breath elicit chronic systemic inflammation even in the absence of episodic events.
Design: Volunteers completed questionnaires relevant to asthma and/or dyspnea and consented to C-reactive protein (CRP) quantitation. Subject groups were: control (no reported dyspnea) and asthma/shortness of breath [dyspnea] group.
Setting: Studies were performed in the Saint Louis metropolitan area.
Participants: Participants consisted of volunteers aged 18-57. Inclusion criteria were good health, not pregnant, weight > 110 pounds and absence of antiinflammatory medicine use.
Results: Serum CRP ranged from undetectable to 22,013 ng/mL. Mean results for asthmatic/dyspnea (n = 22) and control (n = 27) groups were 4,203 +/- 1,323 ng/mL and 1,741 +/- 467 ng/mL (p < 0.05) respectively.
Conclusion: Individuals with asthma/asthma-like symptoms have chronic low levels of systemic inflammation despite the absence of episodic pulmonary events. Understanding chronic systemic inflammation relevant to asthma/asthma-like conditions may lead to design of targeted therapeutics.