Due to the disagreement in studies, the present study performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate the relationship between childhood asthma and the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in adulthood.
Literature search was performed in Medline and Embase databases until the end of 2019. Data were recorded as adjusted odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (95%CI). Analyses were performed on STATA 14.0 and an overall OR was reported. Subgroup analysis was performed to determine the source of heterogeneity.
Data from 11 articles were included in the meta-analysis. Overall, the odds of developing adulthood COPD in children with asthma were 3.0 times higher than that in non-asthmatic children (OR=3.00; 95%CI: 2.25-4.00; p<0.001). The relationship between childhood asthma and COPD in adulthood was reported somewhat greater in random sampling method studies than consecutive sampling method studies (OR=2.89; 95% CI: 1.72-4.86; p=0.001).
Asthma in childhood could be considered as an independent risk factor for COPD in adulthood. Since type of study, sampling method, sample size of study and COPD prevalence are the main sources of heterogeneity, further prospective high-quality studies assessing the relationship of childhood asthma and adulthood COPD are recommended to be performed.