Childhood Asthma Found to Negatively Affect Adult Health

May 6, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Children with asthma are more likely to develop a range of health and social problems as they enter into adulthood, new research by the Yale School of Public Health has found. The study is published in this month's issue of the Journal of Health Economics.

Researchers found significant long-term consequences for children who suffer from the chronic breathing condition, including an increased likelihood of adult obesity and increased absenteeism from either school or work.

affects nearly 10 percent of children, but there has been little research on its long-term consequences, both physically and in terms of socioeconomic costs.

“Results from this analysis suggest that the prevalence of asthma early in life may have important for future health and well-being,” said Jason M. Fletcher, an assistant professor in the division of Health Policy and Administration and the study’s lead author. “The long-term health effects of childhood asthma appear to be as severe as those associated with other major childhood health conditions such as AD/HD or low birth-weight.”

Specifically, the researchers found that children with asthma have a 12 percentage point higher risk of adult obesity. This may be due to certain adopted in childhood—such as avoiding routine or vigorous exercise—in order to avoid triggering asthma attacks, they note.

The study also found that young adults who suffered from childhood asthma had sharply increased rates of absenteeism—by as much as 50 percent—from school and work. People who grew up with the were also significantly less likely to report that they were in excellent health.

The findings suggest that behavioral reactions to asthma in childhood can have lasting impacts and that some health resources should be reallocated to younger people with asthma to instill better habits. Waiting and treating asthma-related problems in adults can be very costly because it often requires undoing years of cumulative damage, note the researchers.

The researchers plan to examine additional long-term consequences of childhood , such as earnings, physical activities and limitations, and other adult health conditions, as well as examining the mechanisms of the links.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Novel approach to track HIV infection

August 18, 2017
Northwestern Medicine scientists have developed a novel method of tracking HIV infection, allowing the behavior of individual virions—infectious particles—to be connected to infectivity.

Faulty gene linked to obesity in adults

August 18, 2017
Groundbreaking new research linking obesity and metabolic dysfunction to a problem in the energy generators in cells has been published by researchers from the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and The University ...

Two lung diseases killed 3.6 million in 2015: study

August 17, 2017
The two most common chronic lung diseases claimed 3.6 million lives worldwide in 2015, according to a tally published Thursday in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

New test differentiates between Lyme disease, similar illness

August 16, 2017
Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the United States. But it can be confused with similar conditions, including Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness. A team of researchers led by Colorado ...

Addressing superbug resistance with phage therapy

August 16, 2017
International research involving a Monash biologist shows that bacteriophage therapy – a process whereby bacterial viruses attack and destroy specific strains of bacteria - can be used successfully to treat systemic, multidrug ...

Can previous exposure to west Nile alter the course of Zika?

August 15, 2017
West Nile virus is no stranger to the U.S.-Mexico border; thousands of people in the region have contracted the mosquito-borne virus in the past. But could this previous exposure affect how intensely Zika sickens someone ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

JerryPark
not rated yet May 06, 2010
I wonder how the analysis was conducted and what data were analyzed. I had childhood asthma and had none of the supposed consequences the study indicated.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.