Diseases concomitant with asthma in middle-aged and elderly subjects in Korea: a population-based study

Allergy Asthma Immunol Res. 2013 Jan;5(1):16-25. doi: 10.4168/aair.2013.5.1.16. Epub 2012 Jul 25.


Purpose: Asthma is prevalent in many countries. Few studies have investigated the association between asthma and concomitant diseases. We retrospectively analyzed the fourth Korean National Health and Nutrition Survey database, performed in 2008 using nationwide stratified random sampling to obtain a representative cohort of the Korean population.

Methods: We evaluated the association between both self-reported ever-asthmatics and wheezers and concomitant diseases such as arthritis, hypertension, gastrointestinal (GI) ulcers, dyslipidemia, diabetes mellitus, rhinitis, depression, stroke, and obesity in subjects aged ≥40 years. A multivariate analysis was performed to identify concomitant diseases independently associated with asthma, after adjustment for age, gender, income, cigarette smoking, and other chronic diseases.

Results: Of the total of 4,445 subjects, 2,596 (58.4%) were female and the mean age was 58.3 years. Of the 4,445 subjects, 195 (4.4%) had been diagnosed with asthma at some point, and 444 (10%) were wheezers. Multivariate analysis showed that arthritis (odds ratio [OR] 1.74, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.26-2.42), rhinitis (OR 1.78, 95% CI 1.14-2.78), depression (OR 1.45, 95% CI 1.05-2.07), and obesity (OR 1.61, 95% CI 1.08-2.40) were significantly associated with self-reported ever-asthma, and arthritis (OR 1.50, 95% CI 1.19-1.909), hypertension (OR 1.34, 95% CI 1.07-1.67), GI ulcers (OR 1.48, 95% CI 1.05-2.08), rhinitis (OR 1.60, 95% CI 1.16-2.19), depression (OR 1.94, 95% CI 1.51-2.48), and obesity (OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.17-2.09) were significantly associated with wheezers.

Conclusions: These findings indicate that arthritis, rhinitis, depression, and obesity may be associated with both self-reported ever asthma and wheezers in the Korean population.

Keywords: Asthma; arthritis; depression; obesity; rhinitis.