We examined the relations between bronchial reactivity, baseline FEV1, and annual decline of height corrected FEV1 (delta FEV1/ht3) over 7.5 years in 227 men (117 smokers, 71 ex-smokers, and 39 non-smokers). Men with a clinical diagnosis of asthma or receiving bronchodilator treatment were excluded. Bronchial reactivity was determined as the provocation concentration (PC20) of inhaled histamine sufficient to reduce FEV1 by 20%; subjects were divided into reactors (PC20 less than or equal to 16 mg/ml) and non-reactors (PC20 greater than 16 mg/ml). Thirty per cent of smokers, 24% of ex-smokers, and 5% of non-smokers were reactors. When smokers who were reactors were compared with non-reactors, the reactors showed a lower baseline FEV1 as percentage predicted in 1981-2 (85% v 108%), and a faster delta FEV1/ht3 (14.1 v 9.2 ml/y/m3). Baseline FEV1 correlated with PC20 in both smokers (rs = 0.51) and ex-smokers (rs = 0.61), and all 15 subjects with an FEV1 under 80% of the predicted value were reactors. In ex-smokers delta FEV1/ht3 was similar in reactors and non-reactors (m 9.0 v 7.4 ml/y/m3), despite significant differences in baseline FEV1. When analysis was confined to men with a baseline FEV1 over 80% predicted, the prevalence of reactors was significantly increased among smokers and slightly increased among ex-smokers compared with non-smokers, though the mean FEV1 was higher in the non-smokers. Bronchial reactivity was not increased in smokers aged 35 years or less. In smokers delta FEV1/ht3 was faster in those with a personal history of allergy (usually allergic rhinitis), but was not related to a family history of allergic disease, total serum immunoglobulin E level, absolute blood eosinophil count, or skinprick test score. delta FEV1/ht3 was also faster in all subjects taking beta blocker drugs. Thus increased bronchial reactivity was associated with accelerated decline of FEV1 in smokers. Although the association could be a consequence of a lower lower baseline FEV1, a trend towards increased reactivity was found in smokers with normal baseline FEV1 and delta FEV1/ht3 was dissociated from increased reactivity in ex-smokers. These findings are compatible with the "Dutch hypothesis," but the association between allergic features and accelerated delta FEV1/ht3 was relatively weak, and increased reactivity may follow rather than precede the onset of smoking.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.