Asthma severity as a contributing factor to cancer incidence: A cohort study
Heialy, Saba Al
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Background: A putative link between asthma and asthma severity with the occurrence of cancer has been suggested but has not been fully investigated. The objective of this study is to assess the incidence of all types of cancer in a cohort of asthmatic patients. Methods and findings: A single center cohort retrospective study was conducted to investigate the role of asthma as a potential risk factor for various cancers. Participants were followed for a period of 9 years from 01/01/2010 to 30/12/2018 and cancer incidence and its determinants were collected in asthmatic patients and controls from the same population source but without any respiratory disease. Overall, 2,027 asthma patients and 1,637 controls were followed up for an average of 9 years. The statistical analysis showed that 2% of asthma patients were diagnosed with various cancers, resulting in an incidence rate of cancer of 383.02 per 100,000 persons per year which is significantly higher than the 139.01 per 100,000 persons per year observed in matched controls (p-value < 0.001). The top four cancers reported among asthmatics were breast, colon, lung and prostate cancer. Lung cancer in asthmatics had the longest diagnosis period with a mean of 36.6 years compared to the shortest with prostate cancer with 16.5 years. Conclusions: This study shows that asthma patients are at increased risk of different types of cancers with asthma severity and goiter as the main factors that may increase the risk of developing cancers among asthmatic patients.