Asthma may increase the risk of stroke; yet it does not appear to raise the danger of developing coronary artery disease, according to the results of a study reported in Thorax (August 2005). For the study, the researchers analyzed data from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study to investigate the possible association between asthma, coronary heart disease, and stroke.
The study found that rates of coronary heart disease were not affected in participants who currently had asthma, had asthma at some point in the past, or never had it. For men, asthma was linked with a lower incidence of coronary heart disease after factoring in major cardiovascular risk factors. The investigators found, however, that ever having asthma was connected with a 65% greater risk of stroke, compared with never having had asthma. The participants currently with asthma had the greatest increased risk, 93%.