Adult Illness and Death Risk Increased by Respiratory Disease During Childhood

Respiratory disease in childhood increases the risk of illness and premature death in adulthood, according to a study published in the journal, Thorax.

Between 1948 and 1968 10,000 male graduates of Glasgow University supplied researchers with details of childhood illnesses, including bronchitis, asthma and pneumonia, plus their weight, height and blood pressure.

When survivors of the original study were traced between 1998 and 2002, 4044 men out of 8410 replied. Victims of bronchitis, pneumonia asthma in early childhood were 57% more likely to die of respiratory disease than those who had not suffered from these illnesses as children. And they were more than twice as likely to die of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema and bronchitis.

Men who had had bronchitis were also 38% more likely to die of cardiovascular disease. Respiratory illness during childhood was also associated with a higher risk of assorted respiratory problems in adulthood, ranging from the relatively minor to the severe.

Source: Thorax,/em> 2008; doi 10.1136/thx.2007.086744

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