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Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2013 Feb;99(2):192-9. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2012.11.019. Epub 2012 Dec 20.

Asthma and the risk of type 2 diabetes in the Singapore Chinese Health Study.

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  • 1University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, 1300 S 2nd St, Suite 300, Minneapolis MN 55454, United States.



Asthma is believed to increase the risk for several proinflammatory diseases, yet epidemiologic studies on asthma in relation to risk of developing type 2 diabetes are sparse and have reported inconsistent results. In the present study, we investigated the hypothesis that asthma is associated with an increased risk of incident type 2 diabetes in Chinese adults.


We used data from the Singapore Chinese Health Study, including Chinese men and women aged 45-74 years, free of cancer, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes at baseline (1993-1998) and followed through 2004 for incident physician-diagnosed diabetes. Cox regression models were used to examine the associations between self-reported history of physician-diagnosed asthma and risk of diabetes.


During an average follow-up of 5.7 years per person, 2234 of the 42,842 participants included in the current analyses reported diagnoses of type 2 diabetes. After adjustment for potential confounders, not including body mass index (BMI), asthma was associated with a 31% increased risk of incident diabetes (HR=1.31; 95% CI: 1.00-1.72). The association was attenuated after adjustment for adult BMI (HR=1.25; 95% CI: 0.95-1.64). The asthma-diabetes association appeared stronger for adult- vs. child-diagnosed asthma cases, and for participants who were obese compared to non-obese.


In Singaporean Chinese adults we observed a positive association between self-reported, physician-diagnosed asthma and risk of developing type 2 diabetes that was modestly attenuated by adjustment for BMI.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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