Phenotyping asthma with airflow obstruction in middle-aged and older adults: a CADSET clinical research collaboration.
Bertels X., Edris A., Garcia-Aymerich J., Faner R., Meteran H., Sigsgaard T., Alter P., Vogelmeier C., Olvera N., Kermani NZ., Agusti A., Donaldson GC., Wedzicha JA., Brusselle GG., Backman H., Rönmark E., Lindberg A., Vonk JM., Chung KF., Adcock IM., van den Berge M., Lahousse L.
BACKGROUND: The prevalence and clinical profile of asthma with airflow obstruction (AO) remain uncertain. We aimed to phenotype AO in population- and clinic-based cohorts. METHODS: This cross-sectional multicohort study included adults ≥50 years from nine CADSET cohorts with spirometry data (N=69 789). AO was defined as ever diagnosed asthma with pre-BD or post-BD FEV1/FVC <0.7 in population-based and clinic-based cohorts, respectively. Clinical characteristics and comorbidities of AO were compared with asthma without airflow obstruction (asthma-only) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) without asthma history (COPD-only). ORs for comorbidities adjusted for age, sex, smoking status and body mass index (BMI) were meta-analysed using a random effects model. RESULTS: The prevalence of AO was 2.1% (95% CI 2.0% to 2.2%) in population-based, 21.1% (95% CI 18.6% to 23.8%) in asthma-based and 16.9% (95% CI 15.8% to 17.9%) in COPD-based cohorts. AO patients had more often clinically relevant dyspnoea (modified Medical Research Council score ≥2) than asthma-only (+14.4 and +14.7 percentage points) and COPD-only (+24.0 and +5.0 percentage points) in population-based and clinic-based cohorts, respectively. AO patients had more often elevated blood eosinophil counts (>300 cells/µL), although only significant in population-based cohorts. Compared with asthma-only, AO patients were more often men, current smokers, with a lower BMI, had less often obesity and had more often chronic bronchitis. Compared with COPD-only, AO patients were younger, less often current smokers and had less pack-years. In the general population, AO patients had a higher risk of coronary artery disease than asthma-only and COPD-only (OR=2.09 (95% CI 1.26 to 3.47) and OR=1.89 (95% CI 1.10 to 3.24), respectively) and of depression (OR=1.41 (95% CI 1.19 to 1.67)), osteoporosis (OR=2.30 (95% CI 1.43 to 3.72)) and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (OR=1.68 (95% CI 1.06 to 2.68)) than COPD-only, independent of age, sex, smoking status and BMI. CONCLUSIONS: AO is a relatively prevalent respiratory phenotype associated with more dyspnoea and a higher risk of coronary artery disease and elevated blood eosinophil counts in the general population compared with both asthma-only and COPD-only.