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Link between measles and airflow obstruction

Childhood measles can affect post-bronchodilator airflow obstruction in later life

Childhood measles can affect post-bronchodilator airflow obstruction in later life

Contracting measles during early childhood increases the risk of post-bronchodilator airflow obstruction for middle-aged adults if they smoke and have adult asthma, a study has found.

Carried out in Tasmania, Australia, 8,583 students underwent a spirometry in 1968 before immunisation against measles was introduced.

A history of childhood measles was sourced from school medical records. A total of 69% of participants had measles.

Between 2002-2005 there was a follow up with 5,729 responses.

The sample consisted of 67% having asthma and/or wheezing breathing. Over half were ever-smokers, of those 59% had smoked at least 10 pack-years.

Of the asthma-smoking-measles subgroup, 40% had coexistent post-bronchodilator airflow obstruction.

When the study looked at an asthma-only sub-cohort with measles as a child the prevalence of post-bronchodilator airflow obstruction


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