Childhood Asthma Found to Negatively Affect Adult Health

May 6, 2010, Yale University

(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

New study offers insights on genetic indicators of COPD risk

January 16, 2018
Researchers have discovered that genetic variations in the anatomy of the lungs could serve as indicators to help identify people who have low, but stable, lung function early in life, and those who are particularly at risk ...

Previous influenza virus exposures enhance susceptibility in another influenza pandemic

January 16, 2018
While past exposure to influenza A viruses often builds immunity to similar, and sometimes different, strains of the virus, Canadian researchers are calling for more attention to exceptions to that rule.

Don't hold your nose and close your mouth when you sneeze, doctors warn

January 15, 2018
Pinching your nose while clamping your mouth shut to contain a forceful sneeze isn't a good idea, warn doctors in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

Surfers three times more likely to have antibiotic-resistant bacteria in guts

January 14, 2018
Regular surfers and bodyboarders are three times more likely to have antibiotic resistant E. coli in their guts than non-surfers, new research has revealed.

New antifungal provides hope in fight against superbugs

January 12, 2018
Microscopic yeast have been wreaking havoc in hospitals around the world—creeping into catheters, ventilator tubes, and IV lines—and causing deadly invasive infection. One culprit species, Candida auris, is resistant ...

Dengue takes low and slow approach to replication

January 11, 2018
A new study reveals how dengue virus manages to reproduce itself in an infected person without triggering the body's normal defenses. Duke researchers report that dengue pulls off this hoax by co-opting a specialized structure ...

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.