From the Journals

Childhood asthma linked to high LV mass later

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Substantial public health implications

Sun et al. report that healthy young adults who had asthma during childhood have a significantly greater left ventricular mass index, by about 8%, than do those who didn’t have the condition.

On an individual patient level, such a difference confers a relatively small incremental risk of incident cardiovascular disease: a roughly 1.08-fold increase. However, at the population level, where there are many major comorbidities, the public health implications could be substantial. Targeting these patients for intensified cardiovascular risk reduction could have important benefits.

John S. Gottdiener, MD, is at the University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore. He reported having no relevant financial disclosures. Dr. Gottdiener made these remarks in an editorial comment accompanying Dr. Sun’s report (JACC: Heart Failure. 2017 Jun 26. doi: 10.1016/j.jchf.2017.05.003).



A history of childhood asthma correlates with high left ventricular mass, a prominent indicator of cardiac damage, in asymptomatic healthy young adults, according to a report published online June 26 in JACC: Heart Failure.

“Our data suggest that aggressive lifestyle modifications or even pharmacologic treatment may be applied to people with a [childhood] history of asthma. … to lower cardiovascular risk,” said Dianjianyi Sun, MD, PhD, of the department of epidemiology, Tulane University, New Orleans, and his associates.

They assessed the relationship between childhood asthma and later left ventricular mass using data from the ongoing Bogalusa Heart Study, a community-based longitudinal cohort study of the natural history of cardiovascular risk factors and their impact throughout the lifespan. Dr. Sun and his colleagues focused on 1,118 participants who underwent cardiac imaging studies as healthy young adults, of whom 9% reported a history of childhood asthma.

Both mean left ventricular mass (169 g) and mean left ventricular mass index (41 g/m2) were significantly higher in participants who’d had childhood asthma than in those who had not (158 g and 38 g/m2, respectively). This correlation was independent of major cardiovascular risk factors such as race, smoking status, hypertension status, use of antihypertensive medications, C-reactive protein levels, heart rate, and body mass index, the investigators said (JACC: Heart Failure. 2017 Jun 26. doi: 10.1016/j.jchf.2017.03.009).

The association was strongest among young adults who had higher systolic blood pressure (prehypertension or hypertension).

This study was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Boston Obesity Nutrition Research Center, the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation, and the American Heart Association. Dr. Sun and his associates reported having no relevant financial disclosures.

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