Family history a risk factor for asthma death
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - An analysis of genealogy records linked to death certificates in Utah suggests that the risk of dying from an asthma attack is hereditary.
Dr. Craig C. Teerlink and associates at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City identified 1553 asthma-related deaths in a registry of all Utah deaths since 1904.
According to information from the Utah Population Database, the risk of dying of asthma was increased by 69 percent for first-degree relatives of people who died from asthma compared to people with no family history of asthma deaths, according to a report in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
The risk was also raised by 34 percent for second-degree relatives of asthma death cases (RR = 1.34, p = 0.003), and was even elevated, by 15 percent, among third-degree relatives.
"The results should provide further incentive for asthma (healthcare) providers to thoroughly question their patients about family history as it is a risk factor for asthma mortality," Teerlink and his associates conclude.
SOURCE: American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, November 2007.