childhood asthma not only were more likely to have stiff arteries, but they developed the condition earlier in life than those without asthma. That was particularly true among people who were overweight or had high blood pressure.
“Our study indicates that a history of asthma from childhood is associated with accelerated aortic stiffness in adults and potentially an increased risk of future heart disease,” Sun said.
“It’s a well-designed study and a call for earlier attention, for both doctors and asthma patients,” said Dr. Stephen Archer, a cardiologist, researcher and the head of medicine at Queen’s University in Canada.
“Patients should be proactive in recognizing that asthma is probably a modest but important risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and staying healthy is therefore that much more important,” said Archer, who was not involved in the new study.
The test used, called pulse wave velocity, can play an important role in identifying who has stiff arteries and might need to be more careful about their heart health, he said.
“When we’re young, our blood vessels are very elastic. They absorb energy when our heart beats and give it back to the bloodstream,” Archer explained. “Just like other parts of your body like your joints or your back your blood vessels usually get stiffer when you’re older, but some get stiff early on in life.”
An estimated 24.6 million Americans had asthma in 2015, including 6.2 million children, according to the American Lung Association.
The study didn’t investigate why asthma might cause