University of Oulu

Lajunen, TK, Jaakkola, JJK, Jaakkola, MS. Different effects of smoking on atopic and non-atopic adult-onset asthma. Clin Transl Allergy. 2021;e12072. doi:10.1002/clt2.12072

Different effects of smoking on atopic and non-atopic adult-onset asthma

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Author: Lajunen, Taina K.1,2,3; Jaakkola, Jouni J. K.1,2,3,4; Jaakkola, Maritta S.1,2,3
Organizations: 1Center for Environmental and Respiratory Health Research, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Biocenter, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Medical Research Center, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2021
Publish Date: 2022-02-03


Background: Both tobacco smoking and atopy increase the risk of adult-onset asthma. We studied if there are differences in the effects of smoking on the risks of atopic and non-atopic adult-onset asthma, and if gender modifies these effects.

Methods: The Finnish Environment and Asthma Study (FEAS) includes 521 incident cases of adult-onset asthma and 932 population-based controls, aged 21 to 63 years, recruited from a geographically defined area of Pirkanmaa, South Finland. Asthma was defined based on symptoms and lung function measurements, atopy by IgE antibodies to common aeroallergens and smoking by the study questionnaire.

Results: Altogether 212 cases were atopic, and 251 cases were non-atopic. Regular smoking increased the risk of atopic asthma (adjusted OR 1.24, 95% CI 0.83–1.85), this effect was seen in women (aOR 1.77, 1.06–2.95) but not in men (aOR 0.75, 0.39–1.45). Among regular smokers, the amount smoked was lowest among women with atopic asthma. Recent quitting of smoking was related to increased risk of both atopic (aOR 4.91, 2.26–10.65) and non-atopic (aOR 4.37, 1.87–10.21) asthma. Having quitted smoking over a year ago was related to increased risk of non-atopic asthma (aOR 1.57, 1.08–2.28), mainly in men (aOR 2.03, 1.06–3.88).

Conclusions: In women, rather small amounts of regular smoking increase the risk of atopic asthma. However, for non-atopic asthma, the smoking induced risk continues for longer after quitting, especially in men. In conclusion, the effects of smoking on the risks of atopic and non-atopic asthma differ, and gender modifies these effects.

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Series: Clinical and translational allergy
ISSN: 2045-7022
ISSN-E: 2045-7022
ISSN-L: 2045-7022
Volume: 11
Issue: 8
Article number: e12072
DOI: 10.1002/clt2.12072
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
Funding: This study was supported by the Academy of Finland (grant numbers 129419 [CLAIH Consortium], 138691 [GEA], 266314, 267675, 267995 [APTA Consortium] and 310371 and 310372 [GLORIA Consortium]), The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (grant number STM/1523/2012), The Research Foundation of the Pulmonary Diseases, Ella and Georg Ehrnrooth Foundation, Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation, the University of Oulu strategic funds and the Biocenter Oulu grant. The funders had no role in study design, data collection or analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. All authors declare no conflict of interest.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 129419
Detailed Information: 129419 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
138691 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
266314 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
267995 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
310372 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2021 The Authors. Clinical and Translational Allergy published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.