This review will summarize the numerous recent longitudinal studies that have looked at the connection between asthma and lung function, as well as the durability and trajectories of lung function impairments. Recent studies have reported on 50-year follow-ups of various well-known demographic cohorts. A history of asthma increases the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease by 10–30%. Individuals who attain a decreased maximal increase of forced expiratory volume in 1 s in early adulthood are at risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease early or later in life (COPD).

A plethora of overlapping cohort studies on lung function, asthma, and COPD exist. Asthma is associated with decreased lung function, which can begin in infancy or prenatally, persists throughout childhood and adulthood, and predisposes to early or more severe COPD.