Childhood asthma and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in adulthood: The Busselton Health Study

Pediatr Pulmonol. 2021 Jul;56(7):1915-1923. doi: 10.1002/ppul.25386. Epub 2021 Apr 5.


Background: Long-term childhood asthma studies that investigate adult outcomes other than respiratory morbidity are lacking. This study examines the associations of childhood asthma and the occurrence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) events and mortality in adulthood.

Methods: A cohort of 4430 school children (aged 17 years) who attended the Busselton Health Study between 1967 and 1983 were analyzed. Self-reported history of doctor-diagnosed asthma was determined based on the questionnaire. Subsequent CVD events (hospital admissions or death) up to 2014 were identified using the Western Australia Data Linkage System. Cox regression models were used to investigate the impact of childhood asthma on CVD events and mortality in adulthood. A subgroup of 2153 participants who re-attended a survey in young adulthood was also analyzed.

Results: A total of 462 (10%) of the cohort had childhood asthma. During follow-up, 867 participants experienced a CVD event and 22 participants died from CVD. Childhood asthma was not associated with the risk of CVD events in adulthood (HR, 1.12; 95% CI: 0.91-1.39; p = .2833) and this persisted after adjustment for confounders. Childhood asthma was not associated with coronary heart disease events (HR, 0.72; 95% CI: 0.40-1.30; p = .2761), heart failure events (HR, 0.55; 95% CI: 0.07-4.13; p = .5604) or CVD mortality (HR, 0.91; 95% CI: 0.21-3.89; p = .8987) in adulthood.

Conclusion: Childhood asthma is not associated with the risk of CVD events and mortality in adulthood.

Keywords: asthma; cardiovascular diseases; childhood; cohort study; morbidity; mortality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asthma* / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Heart Failure*
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult