Influence of a positive family history and associated allergic diseases on the natural course of asthma

Authors

  • R. J. ROORDA,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Pediatric Pulmonology, Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital, Groningen, The Netherlands
      and present address: Dr R. J. Roorda, Department of Pediatrics, ‘De Weezenlanden’ Hospital, PO Box 10500, 8000 GM Zwolle, The Netherlands.
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  • J. GERRITSEN,

    1. Division of Pediatric Pulmonology, Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital, Groningen, The Netherlands
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  • W. M. C. VAN AALDEREN,

    1. Division of Pediatric Pulmonology, Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital, Groningen, The Netherlands
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  • K. KNOL

    1. Division of Pediatric Pulmonology, Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital, Groningen, The Netherlands
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and present address: Dr R. J. Roorda, Department of Pediatrics, ‘De Weezenlanden’ Hospital, PO Box 10500, 8000 GM Zwolle, The Netherlands.

Summary

The outcome of childhood asthma was studied in a cohort of 406 asthmatic children, with emphasis on the influence of family history for allergic disease, as well as the influence of associated allergic diseases on prognosis. Sixty-two per cent had a positive family history for atopy. In young adulthood no differences, either in symptoms or lung function were demonstrated in comparison to subjects with a negative family history. Fifty-two per cent of the children had no other allergic disease, 48% had either eczema or hay fever or both. When subjects were stratified based on associated allergic disease, no differences in outcome in adulthood were revealed either. It is concluded that neither a positive family history, nor concurrent associated allergic diseases in the child contribute to the prognosis of asthma from childhood to young adulthood. Therefore, environmental factors as well as patient characteristics (including lung function level, level of bronchial responsiveness) are likely to be more important for the prognosis.

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