Co-morbidities and cognitive status in a cohort of teenagers with asthma

Shlomo Cohen*, Neville Berkman, Elie Picard, Tali Levi, Estela Derazne, Dorit Tzur, Chaim Springer, Avraham Avital, Leon Joseph, Shmuel Goldberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: There is limited data regarding co-morbidities and cognitive status of asthma during childhood and adolescence. The aim of the current study was to explore the presence of co-morbidities and cognitive status in a large cohort of teenagers with asthma. Methods: The medical records of 314,897 consecutive 17-year-old males, undergoing comprehensive medical and cognitive evaluation prior to recruitment for military service, were reviewed. The prevalence of co-morbidities and a cognitive assessment in subjects with asthma were compared to those without asthma. Both a univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis were performed. Results: Active asthma was documented in 21,728 (6.9%) subjects: 3.3% were diagnosed with mild intermittent asthma, and 3.6% with persistent asthma. A significant positive correlation between a higher cognitive score and prevalence of asthma was found (P < 0.001), with a 55% increased prevalence of asthma in the subjects with the highest cognitive score compared to those with the lowest score. The following co-morbidities were significantly more prevalent in asthmatics compared to non-asthmatics: chronic rhinitis (35% vs. 5%), atopic dermatitis (2% vs. 0.4%), urticaria (1% vs. 0.3%), anaphylaxis (0.4% vs. 0.1%), chronic sinusitis (0.4% vs. 0.1%), overweight with body mass index (BMI) above 25 kg/m2 (20% vs. 17%) and underweight with BMI less than 17 kg/m2 (3.2% vs. 2.8%), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) (1% vs. 0.5%), and thyroid disorders(0.4% vs. 0.2%). Chronic rhinitis and sinusitis, atopic dermatitis, IBS, and thyroid disorders were all significantly more prevalent in persistent compared to intermittent asthma (P < 0.001). Conclusions: In adolescence, a higher cognitive status was associated with a higher rate of asthma. Chronic rhinitis was the most prevalent co-morbidity and was found in one third of adolescent asthmatics. Other allergic diseases, chronic sinusitis, over and underweight, IBS, and thyroid disorders were also more prevalent in asthmatics. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2016; 51:901–907.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)901-907
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Pulmonology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • asthma co-morbidities
  • cognitive status
  • intermittent asthma
  • persistent asthma
  • teenagers


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