The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
MH, KT and EA had full access to all the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. MH, KT and EA, drafting the manuscript for important intellectual content and interpretation of data. EA and MH analysis of data. KT conception and design. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Wheeze is a very common respiratory symptom, which is associated with several factors and diseases. Studies on incidence of new-onset wheeze in general adult populations are rare. The present prospective study aimed to investigate the incidence rate of new-onset wheeze, and predictors for wheeze, in a general, middle-aged population.
Individuals, born 1943–1973, who had participated in a previous Swedish study in 1993 (n = 15,813), were mailed a new respiratory questionnaire in 2003. The questionnaire, which included items about respiratory symptoms, atopy, and smoking was answered by 11,463 (72 %). Incidence rates of new-onset wheeze were calculated. Cox regression analyses were performed with incident wheeze as an event and person-years under observation as dependent variable.
Among those free of wheeze at baseline (n = 8885), there were 378 new cases of wheeze during the study period (1993–2003). The incidence rate was 4.3/1000 person-years. The adjusted risk was increased in relation to smoking (HR 2.1;95 % CI 1.7–2.7), ex-smoking (HR 1.4;95 % CI 1.1–1.9), young age (HR 1.7;95 % CI 1.3–2.2), chronic bronchitis (HR 2.3;95 % CI 0.96–5.7), and rhinitis (HR 1.8;95 % CI 1.4–2.2) at baseline, and body mass index ≥30 (HR 1.9;95 % CI 1.5–2.6) at follow-up.
This is a unique study that presents an incidence rate for new-onset wheeze in a middle-aged, general population sample previously free of adult wheeze. The results indicate that new-onset wheeze is quite common in this age group. Health care staff should bear this in mind since new-onset wheeze could be one of the earliest symptoms of severe respiratory disease. Special attention should be paid to patients with a smoking history, chronic bronchitis, rhinitis or obesity.
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- Incidence of new-onset wheeze: a prospective study in a large middle-aged general population
- BioMed Central
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