Post-doctoral researcher Taina Lajunen, PhD and Professor Jouni Jaakkola and Professor Maritta Jaakkola received the Best Article of the Year 2013 Award at the Faculty of Medicine. The article published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, the leading journal of respiratory medicine provide new evidence about hereditary susceptibility to the effects of second-hand smoke exposure on adult-onset asthma.
Scientific Knowledge on the Subject
Second-hand smoke (SHS) exposure is common in almost all parts of the world. Having asthmatic heredity increases the person’s risk of developing asthma, and such individuals may form a susceptible group for the adverse effects of SHS. There are no previous studies on the potential joint effect of asthmatic heredity and SHS exposure on the risk of adult-onset asthma.
What This Study Adds to the Field
The Finnish Environment and Asthma Study (FEAS) was initiated in 1997. This is the first study showing that individuals with asthmatic heredity have a considerably increased risk of developing adult-onset asthma when exposed to SHS. SHS exposure has dose-dependent synergism with family history of asthma, the joint effect being stronger with higher exposure levels. Asking about family history of asthma is a useful tool to identify individuals especially susceptible to the adverse effects of SHS in both clinical and preventive settings.
This study was supported by the Academy of Finland (grants 138691 PI M Jaakkola and 129419 PI J Jaakkola); the SALVE program (http://www.aka.fi/en-GB/A/); and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (grant STM/1523/2012) (http://www.stm.fi/en/frontpage).
Lajunen TK, Jaakkola JJ, Jaakkola MS. The Synergistic Effect of Heredity and Exposure to Second-hand Smoke on Adult-onset Asthma. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2013 Oct 1;188(7):776-82. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201304-0773OC.
Last updated: 9.10.2014