An increase in bronchial responsiveness is associated with continuing or restarting smoking

Susan Chinn*, Deborah Jarvis, Christina M. Luczynska, Ursula Ackermann-Liebrich, Josep M. Antó, Isa Cerveri, Roberto De Marco, Thorarinn Gislason, Joachim Heinrich, Christer Janson, Nino Künzli, Bénédicte Leynaert, Françoise Neukirch, Jan P. Schouten, Jordi Sunyer, Cecilie Svanes, Matthias Wjst, Peter G. Burney

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    61 Citations (Scopus)


    Rationale: Bronchial responsiveness (BHR) has been found to be associated with smoking, atopy, and lower lung function in cross-sectional studies, but there is little information on determinants of change in adults. Objectives: To analyze change in bronchial responsiveness in an international longitudinal community study. Methods: The study was performed in 3,993 participants in the European Community Respiratory Health Survey who had bronchial responsiveness measured in 1991-1993, when aged 20 to 44 yr, and in 1998-2002. Measurements: Bronchial responsiveness was assessed by methacholine challenge. Serum samples were tested for total IgE, and for specific IgE to four common allergens. Smoking information was obtained from detailed administered questionnaires. Change in bronchial responsiveness was analyzed by change in IgE sensitization, smoking, and lung function, with tests of interaction terms with age and sex. Main Results: Continuing and restarting smokers had increasing bronchial responsiveness, approximately equivalent to a mean reduction in PD20 of 0.68 and 0.75 doubling doses, respectively, over 10 yr, in addition to a small increase explained by decline in FEV1. No other risk factor for change in bronchial responsiveness was identified. Conclusions: Smoking is a risk factor for increasing bronchial responsiveness over and above the effect of decreasing lung function. Neither baseline IgE sensitization nor change in sensitization was shown to be a risk factor for increasing BHR, the latter possibly due to little overall increase or decrease in sensitization.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)956-961
    Number of pages6
    JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2005


    • Asthma
    • Atopy
    • Bronchial hyperreactivity
    • Chronic obstructive
    • Immunoglobulin E
    • Pulmonary disease


    Dive into the research topics of 'An increase in bronchial responsiveness is associated with continuing or restarting smoking'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this