Blood lipid levels in kids related to asthma, allergies

July 21, 2015

Danish researchers found that asthma and allergy are systemic disorders with commonalities with other chronic inflammatory disorders.

Lipid levels in the blood of children are associated with respiratory conditions such as asthma and allergies, according to Danish researchers.

The study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, sought to understand the origins and mechanisms of chronic inflammatory disorders such as asthma and allergy.

“This insight will build the foundation for future prevention and treatment,” says study author Hans Bisgaard, MD, DMSc, professor of pediatrics, at the Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood (COPSAC) in Denmark.

High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and triglyceride levels were measured in 301 children at aged 5 to 7 years in the COPSAC2000 at-risk birth cohort.

According to the study abstract, asthma and allergic rhinitis were diagnosed based on predefined algorithms at aged 7 years along with assessments of lung function, bronchial responsiveness, fraction of exhaled nitric oxide (Feno), and allergic sensitization. Associations between lipid levels and clinical outcomes were adjusted for sex, passive smoking, and body mass index.

Bisgaard and his colleagues found that high HDL-C levels were linked to improved specific airway resistance and a decreased bronchial responsiveness in children, while high levels of LDL-C were found to be linked to asthma and airway obstruction. They found no correlation between triglyceride levels and lung function measures.

High HDL-C levels reduced the risk for sensitization against aeroallergens, according to the research team. High triglyceride levels were found to increase this risk.

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They concluded that the blood lipid levels in children are associated with asthma, airway obstruction, bronchial responsiveness and sensitization to aeroallergens. The team suggests that asthma and allergies share certain features such as dyslipidemia with other chronic inflammatory disorders.

“We demonstrate a significant association between serum lipids and asthma and allergy,” Bisgaard tells Medical Economics via e-mail. “This association is similar to the association found between serum lipids and other chronic inflammatory disorders.”

“Asthma and allergy is a systemic disorder with communalities with other chronic inflammatory disorders,” says Bisgaard.