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Exploring the origins of asthma: Lessons from twin studies.

Thomsen SF - Eur Clin Respir J (2014)

Bottom Line: This thesis explores the contribution of twin studies, particularly those studies originating from the Danish Twin Registry, to the understanding of the aetiology of asthma.First, it is explored how twin studies have established the contribution of genetic and environmental factors to the variation in the susceptibility to asthma, and to the variation in several aspects of the clinical expression of the disease such as its age at onset, its symptomatology, its intermediate phenotypes, and its relationship with other atopic diseases.Next, it is explored how twin studies have corroborated theories explaining asthma's recent increase in prevalence, and last, how these fit with the explanations of the epidemiological trends in other common chronic diseases of modernity.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Respiratory Medicine, Bispebjerg Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark.

ABSTRACT
This thesis explores the contribution of twin studies, particularly those studies originating from the Danish Twin Registry, to the understanding of the aetiology of asthma. First, it is explored how twin studies have established the contribution of genetic and environmental factors to the variation in the susceptibility to asthma, and to the variation in several aspects of the clinical expression of the disease such as its age at onset, its symptomatology, its intermediate phenotypes, and its relationship with other atopic diseases. Next, it is explored how twin studies have corroborated theories explaining asthma's recent increase in prevalence, and last, how these fit with the explanations of the epidemiological trends in other common chronic diseases of modernity.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Change in prevalence of asthma between 1994 and 2003 among Danish adolescent twins.
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Figure 0005: Change in prevalence of asthma between 1994 and 2003 among Danish adolescent twins.

Mentions: These results point to a genetic sensitivity to widespread environmental changes in the studied populations leading to an increased occurrence of asthma over time. A Danish twin study has provided evidence in favour of this hypothesis being the first to study changes in prevalence and heritability of asthma over time [V]. In this study of Danish adolescent twins, the prevalence of self-reported asthma increased from 7.1 to 10.8% between 1994 and 2003 [V]. The increase in prevalence was observed both among boys and girls (Figure 5). In the same period the heritability of asthma increased significantly from 79 to 91%. This was particularly due to an increased concordance for asthma among MZ twins in 2003 compared with 1994 (0.73 vs. 0.50), whereas the concordance for asthma among DZ twins was more or less unchanged between 2003 and 1994 (0.29 vs. 0.24); the ratio between concordance rates in MZ and DZ twins increased from 2.08 to 2.52 during these years. Although this result could be due to a decrease in the overall variance in the asthma question used on the two occasions, the data fit well with the hypothesis that the prevalence of asthma has increased globally due to widespread environmental changes. Notably, the influence of genetic factors seems to have increased over time as a result of environmental changes. That is, the extent to which genetic influences affect asthma has increased as a reaction to these environmental changes leading to a higher heritability of asthma in the more recent generations [V].


Exploring the origins of asthma: Lessons from twin studies.

Thomsen SF - Eur Clin Respir J (2014)

Change in prevalence of asthma between 1994 and 2003 among Danish adolescent twins.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4629771&req=5

Figure 0005: Change in prevalence of asthma between 1994 and 2003 among Danish adolescent twins.
Mentions: These results point to a genetic sensitivity to widespread environmental changes in the studied populations leading to an increased occurrence of asthma over time. A Danish twin study has provided evidence in favour of this hypothesis being the first to study changes in prevalence and heritability of asthma over time [V]. In this study of Danish adolescent twins, the prevalence of self-reported asthma increased from 7.1 to 10.8% between 1994 and 2003 [V]. The increase in prevalence was observed both among boys and girls (Figure 5). In the same period the heritability of asthma increased significantly from 79 to 91%. This was particularly due to an increased concordance for asthma among MZ twins in 2003 compared with 1994 (0.73 vs. 0.50), whereas the concordance for asthma among DZ twins was more or less unchanged between 2003 and 1994 (0.29 vs. 0.24); the ratio between concordance rates in MZ and DZ twins increased from 2.08 to 2.52 during these years. Although this result could be due to a decrease in the overall variance in the asthma question used on the two occasions, the data fit well with the hypothesis that the prevalence of asthma has increased globally due to widespread environmental changes. Notably, the influence of genetic factors seems to have increased over time as a result of environmental changes. That is, the extent to which genetic influences affect asthma has increased as a reaction to these environmental changes leading to a higher heritability of asthma in the more recent generations [V].

Bottom Line: This thesis explores the contribution of twin studies, particularly those studies originating from the Danish Twin Registry, to the understanding of the aetiology of asthma.First, it is explored how twin studies have established the contribution of genetic and environmental factors to the variation in the susceptibility to asthma, and to the variation in several aspects of the clinical expression of the disease such as its age at onset, its symptomatology, its intermediate phenotypes, and its relationship with other atopic diseases.Next, it is explored how twin studies have corroborated theories explaining asthma's recent increase in prevalence, and last, how these fit with the explanations of the epidemiological trends in other common chronic diseases of modernity.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Respiratory Medicine, Bispebjerg Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark.

ABSTRACT
This thesis explores the contribution of twin studies, particularly those studies originating from the Danish Twin Registry, to the understanding of the aetiology of asthma. First, it is explored how twin studies have established the contribution of genetic and environmental factors to the variation in the susceptibility to asthma, and to the variation in several aspects of the clinical expression of the disease such as its age at onset, its symptomatology, its intermediate phenotypes, and its relationship with other atopic diseases. Next, it is explored how twin studies have corroborated theories explaining asthma's recent increase in prevalence, and last, how these fit with the explanations of the epidemiological trends in other common chronic diseases of modernity.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus