NPJ primary care respiratory medicine 2017 04 2127(1) 28 doi 10.1038/s41533-017-0026-x
Clinical experience has shown that allergic and non-allergic respiratory, metabolic, mental, and cardiovascular disorders sometimes coexist with bronchial asthma. However, no study has been carried out that calculates the chance of manifestation of these disorders with bronchial asthma in Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. Using ICD10 diagnoses from health care institutions, the present study systematically analyzed the co-prevalence and odds ratios of comorbidities in the asthma population in Germany. The odds ratios were adjusted for age and sex for all comorbidities for patients with asthma vs. without asthma. Bronchial asthma was strongly associated with allergic and with a lesser extent to non-allergic comorbidities: OR 7.02 (95%CI:6.83-7.22) for allergic rhinitis; OR 4.98 (95%CI:4.67-5.32) allergic conjunctivitis; OR 2.41 (95%CI:2.33-2.52) atopic dermatitis; OR 2.47 (95%CI:2.16-2.82) food allergy, and OR 1.69 (95%CI:1.61-1.78) drug allergy. Interestingly, increased ORs were found for respiratory diseases: 2.06 (95%CI:1.64-2.58) vocal dysfunction; 1.83 (95%CI:1.74-1.92) pneumonia; 1.78 (95%CI:1.73-1.84) sinusitis; 1.71 (95%CI:1.65-1.78) rhinopharyngitis; 2.55 (95%CI:2.03-3.19) obstructive sleep apnea; 1.42 (95%CI:1.25-1.61) pulmonary embolism, and 3.75 (95%CI:1.64-8.53) bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. Asthmatics also suffer from psychiatric, metabolic, cardiac or other comorbidities. Myocardial infarction (OR 0.86, 95%CI:0.79-0.94) did not coexist with asthma. Based on the calculated chances of manifestation for these comorbidities, especially allergic and respiratory, to a lesser extent also metabolic, cardiovascular, and mental disorders should be taken into consideration in the diagnostic and treatment strategy of bronchial asthma.
PREVALENCE OF CO-EXISTING DISEASES IN GERMANY: Patients in Germany with bronchial asthma are highly likely to suffer from co-existing diseases and their treatments should reflect this. Quoc Thai Dinh at Saarland University Hospital in Homburg, Germany, and co-workers conducted a large-scale study of patients presenting with bronchial asthma in the Saarland region between 2009 and 2012. Patients with asthma made up 5.4% of the region’s total population, with a higher prevalence occurring in females. They found that bronchial asthma was strongly associated with allergic comorbidities such as rhinitis. Indeed, asthmatic patients had a seven times higher chance to suffer from allergic rhinitis than the rest of the population, and were at higher risk of respiratory diseases like pneumonia and obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Further associations included cardiovascular, metabolic and mental disorders. Dinh’s team call for asthma treatments to take such comorbidities into account.