Asthma Associated With Significantly Higher Risk of Cardiovascular Disease, Mortality

People with bronchial asthma have a significantly higher risk of cardiovascular diseases and cardiovascular mortality than people without asthma, according to a recent meta-analysis.

ML Hua, of the Zaozhuang Municipal Hospital in China, and colleagues conducted the meta-analysis and published its results in the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences.

The researchers searched the PubMed and Embase databases for works published through December 1, 2021, to identify 18 relevant studies.

Patients with asthma had a significantly increased risk of cardiovascular heart disease (risk ratio [RR] 1.33; P<.001) and cardiovascular mortality (RR 1.35; P<.001) than people who did not have asthma. When stratified by gender, female patients with asthma had a significantly higher risk of cardiovascular heart disease than males with asthma (RR, 1.35; P=.001). When stratified by asthma stage, patients with active asthma had an increased risk of cardiovascular mortality compared with others (RR, 1.35; P<.001).

Patients with asthma also had significantly higher risks of heart failure (RR, 2.10; P<.001) and myocardial infarction (RR, 1.39; P<.001) than the general population. Only patients with active asthma had a significantly higher risk of atrial fibrillation than the general population (RR, 1.70; P<.001).

The mechanism behind the relationship between cardiovascular diseases and asthma is not well understood, but there are potential links that could explain the association.

“Currently, the pathogenesis by which asthma affects [cardiovascular diseases] remains unclear, while several possible mechanisms have been proposed to explain the observed association with the risk of asthma-related [cardiovascular diseases],” the researchers wrote. “Chronic inflammation, a hallmark of asthma, may play an important role in the association between asthma and [cardiovascular diseases].”

The data from this study “suggested the necessity of early detection and intervention in asthma patients who may be associated with potential [cardiovascular disease] events or [cardiovascular mortality],” the authors concluded.

Hua ML, Li L, Diao LL. Bronchial asthma and risk of 4 specific cardiovascular diseases and cardiovascular mortality: a meta-analysis of cohort studies. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2022;26(14):5081-5091. doi:10.26355/eurrev_202207_29294