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Free Content The incidence of adult asthma: a review

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In recent years, several new studies have estimated the incidence of adult asthma. These studies vary in design and quality. The current paper summarises the findings of major population studies in the adult incidence of asthma. The pooled estimate of the adult incidence of asthma was 4.6 per 1000 person-years in women and 3.6 per 1000 person-years in men. The estimate among only general population cohort studies was higher, respectively 5.9 and 4.4 per 1000 person-years in women and men. The adult incidence of asthma was slightly higher in women than men. In the few studies that allowed the incidence of asthma to be estimated among those aged >50 years, there was a trend towards a higher incidence with age. It is thought likely that this is at least partly explained by misclassification with COPD. However, the current findings from these studies may imply that the incidence of asthma in the elderly has previously been under-estimated. Finally, the review shows that estimates of adult asthma incidence have tended to be higher in later studies, implying a rise in asthma incidence in adults within the timeframe of observation.
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Keywords: adults; asthma; incidence

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: 1: Thoracic Medicine, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Hordaland, Norway 2: Institute of Medicine, University of Bergen, Bergen, Hordaland, Norway 3: Centre for Clinical Research, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Hordaland, Norway

Publication date: 2005-06-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

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