Patients with asthma are more likely to develop at least one other chronic health condition. The findings are based on telephone interviews with >7600 randomly sampled individuals from 3 different Australian states. Of the sample, 834 had physician- diagnosed asthma.
The data showed that patients with asthma have nearly a 2-fold risk of developing chronic conditions. This population was 90% more likely to report having another chronic health condition, compared with patients without asthma. Overall, the researchers found that the risk of stroke was 2.5 times higher in the asthma group. For heart disease, the asthma group had 2.2 times the risk. Patients with asthma also had an 80% higher chance of having arthritis, and a 70% increased risk of developing osteoporosis. The risk of diabetes was 20% higher in the asthma group. The researchers speculated that age may be a factor. When the data were broken down by age, the researchers found that individuals over 55 tended to have the most substantial risk of having another chronic illness (Chest, February 2006).