University of Oulu

Hyrkäs-Palmu H, Jaakkola MS, Mäkikyrö EMS, Jaakkola JJK. Subtypes of Asthma and Cold Weather-Related Respiratory Symptoms. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(14):8790.

Subtypes of asthma and cold weather-related respiratory symptoms

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Author: Hyrkäs-Palmu, Henna1; Jaakkola, Maritta S.1; Mäkikyrö, Elina M. S.1;
Organizations: 1Center for Environmental and Respiratory Health Research and Biocenter Oulu, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 5000, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-01-30


(1) Poor asthma control increases the occurrence of cold weather-related symptoms among adult asthmatics. We assessed whether the subtype of asthma, taking into account the severity of the asthma, plays a role in these symptoms. (2) We conducted a population-based cross-sectional study of 1995 adult asthmatics (response rate 40.4%) living in northern Finland using a questionnaire that asked about cold weather-related respiratory symptoms including (1) shortness of breath, (2) prolonged cough, (3) wheezing, (4) phlegm production, and (5) chest pain, as well as questions related to the subtype of asthma. For women, the subtypes identified using latent class analysis were: (1) Controlled, mild asthma, (2) Partly controlled, moderate asthma, (3) Uncontrolled, unknown severity, and (4) Uncontrolled, severe asthma, and for men: (1) Controlled, mild asthma, (2) Uncontrolled, unknown severity, and (3) Partly controlled, severe asthma. (3) According to the subtypes of asthma, more severe and more poorly controlled asthma were related to the increased prevalence of cold weather-related respiratory symptoms when compared with those with mild, controlled asthma. This trend was especially clear for wheezing and chest pain. For example, in men, the adjusted prevalence ratio of wheezing was 1.55 (95% CI 1.09–2.19) in uncontrolled asthma with unknown severity and 1.84 (95% CI 1.26–2.71) in partly controlled severe asthma compared with controlled, mild asthma. (4) Our study provides evidence for the influence of subtypes of asthma on experiencing cold weather-related respiratory symptoms. Both women and men reported more cold weather-related symptoms when their asthma was more severe and uncontrolled compared with those who had mild and well-controlled asthma.

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Series: International journal of environmental research and public health
ISSN: 1661-7827
ISSN-E: 1660-4601
ISSN-L: 1661-7827
Volume: 19
Issue: 14
Article number: 8790
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph19148790
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Funding: This study was supported by the Research Foundation of the Pulmonary Diseases, the Jalmari and Rauha Ahokas Foundation, the Väinö and Laina Kivi Foundation, the Finnish Anti-Tuberculosis Association Foundation, and the University of Oulu strategic funds.
Copyright information: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (