Characterization of obstructive airway disease in family members of probands with Asthma - An algorithm for the diagnosis of asthma

CIM Panhuysen, ER Bleecker*, GH Koeter, DA Meyers, DS Postma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To investigate the genetic susceptibility to asthma, we developed an algorithm to classify the phenotype of each family member enrolled in a family study on the genetics of asthma. This algorithm was applied to 92 two-and three-generation families, identified through a subject (proband) with asthma first diagnosed 25 yr previously. The algorithm consisted of five classes based on the presence or absence of bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR), respiratory symptoms, smoking, airways obstruction, and bronchodilator reversibility. All family members were classified as: (1) definite asthma; (2) probable asthma; (3) unclassifiable airway disease; (4) chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); (5) unaffected (without clinical evidence of asthma and COPD). Thirteen of the 92 probands (14%) could not be classified as asthmatic when retested 25 yr later because of loss of BHR, loss of bronchodilator reversibility, or a current history of cigarette smoking. Of the 265 first-degree offspring, 49 (18%) were classified as having definite asthma (Class 1), and 22 (8%) as probable asthma (Class 2). A large number of offspring with clinical evidence of asthma did not have a prior physician's diagnosis of asthma, and offspring in Class 1 (definite asthma), with and without a physician's diagnosis, had similar clinical and physiologic characteristics. These results support the usefulness of this approach to classify subjects with asthma for genetic epidemiologic studies and show that reliance on a prior physician's diagnosis may result in misclassification or underdiagnosis. Characterization of the offspring in this family study showed that there is familial clustering, which supports the presence of a hereditary component in asthma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1734-1742
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Volume157
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun-1998

Keywords

  • RANDOM-POPULATION SAMPLE
  • RESPIRATORY SYMPTOMS
  • PULMONARY-DISEASE
  • BRONCHIAL RESPONSIVENESS
  • RISK-FACTORS
  • SERUM IGE
  • HYPERRESPONSIVENESS
  • CHILDREN
  • ATOPY
  • PREVALENCE

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