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Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2005 Aug;95(2):137-42.

Outcome in adulthood of asymptomatic airway hyperresponsiveness to histamine and exercise-induced bronchospasm in childhood.

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Respiratory Research Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, Bispebjerg Hospital, University Hospital of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.



Studies of the clinical outcome in adulthood of asymptomatic airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) to histamine or exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB) detected in childhood in general population samples are sparse and have produced conflicting results.


To describe the outcome of asymptomatic AHR to histamine and EIB.


Data from a 12-year follow-up study of a random population sample of individuals aged 7 to 17 years at enrollment were analyzed; only individuals without asthma at enrollment were included in the analysis. AHR to inhaled histamine, EIB, lung function, and sensitization to aeroallergens were measured.


Among the 281 nonasthmatic participants studied, 58 (22%) had AHR to histamine, 33 (12%) had EIB, and 82 (29%) had AHR to histamine and/or EIB. At follow-up, 37.9% of individuals with AHR to histamine and 30% of individuals with EIB had developed current asthma, compared with only 5% of individuals in whom these test results were negative. In patients with AHR to histamine, parental asthma (odds ratio [OR], 12.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.5-108.5), furred pets ownership (OR, 6.0; 95% CI, 1.2-19.6), and dermatitis and/or rhinitis in childhood (OR, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.1-5.1) predicted the subsequent development of asthma, whereas no risk factors for the development of asthma could be identified in individuals with EIB CONCLUSION: Asymptomatic AHR to histamine and EIB in childhood predict the subsequent development of asthma in adulthood. A genetic disposition to asthma, furred pets ownership, and concomitant rhinitis or dermatitis increase the risk of asthma development in individuals with AHR to histamine.

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