Try our beta test site
IMPORTANT: Listing of a study on this site does not reflect endorsement by the National Institutes of Health. Talk with a trusted healthcare professional before volunteering for a study. Read more...

Epidemiology of Airway Responsiveness

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Identifier:
First received: May 25, 2000
Last updated: March 15, 2016
Last verified: August 2004
To prospectively identify factors that influence the rate of decline in pulmonary function and to identify predictors of chronic obstructive lung disease (COLD) and asthma in a population sample of older adults.

Lung Diseases, Obstructive
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Study Type: Observational

Further study details as provided by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI):

Study Start Date: January 1985
Study Completion Date: March 2002
Detailed Description:


Cigarette smoking is recognized as the most important factor in the development of chronic airflow obstruction, yet only a minority of cigarette smokers develop clinical disease. In 1985, interest focused on the role of increased levels of airways responsiveness and atopy as possible potentiating factors for the development of chronic airflow obstruction. Then current epidemiologic studies had data on only one of these potential risk factors or were too small to adequately address the issues involved. The present study assesses both airways responsiveness and atopy.


The study used the population and data base of the Veterans Administration Normative Aging Study (NAS) which began in 1963. The NAS population consists of over 1,900 men originally selected for good health and their wives. The NAS currently administers a cigarette smoking history questionnaire, the NHLBI-ATS respiratory symptom and illness questionnaire, and spirometry at regularly scheduled examinations three years apart. The current study assessed airways responsiveness as measured by response to methacholine inhalation and atopy as measured by skin test, blood eosinophilia, and serum IgE in NAS participants when they returned for their next two examinations. The data were used to examine the relationship of airways responsiveness, atopy, and cigarette smoking to respiratory symptoms both cross-sectionally and longitudinally.

The study was renewed in 1996 to prospectively identify factors that influence the rate of decline in pulmonary function and to identify predictors of chronic obstructive lung disease (COLD) and asthma in a population sample of older adults. The investigators hypothesize that the development of accelerated decline in FEV1 and the occurrence of respiratory symptoms in older adults are determined by two environmental exposures: tobacco smoke-induced injury and IgE-mediated hypersensitivity to inhaled aeroallergens. The extent to which allergen exposure and airway responsiveness lead to fixed airflow obstruction in older adults is unknown. The primary allergens of interest include: house dust mite (Der p I, Der fI), cockroach (Bla g I, Bla g II), cat (Fel d I), and fungi. Airway hyperresponsiveness to bronchoconstricting stimuli is a physiologic characteristic that may be thought of both as a manifestation of airway disease and as an intrinsic host characteristic which predisposes to the development of airway disease and determines its clinical pattern. They are using the extensive longitudinal information on respiratory symptoms and illnesses, cigarette smoking, pulmonary function, airway responsiveness, indices of atopy (skin test, total and antigen-specific IgE), indices of inflammation (eosinophil and leukocyte counts in peripheral blood), and allergen levels in dust and air in NAS participants and their wives to address the following hypotheses: that the association of increased airway responsiveness with accelerated longitudinal decline in pulmonary function is modified by gender, smoking, level of FEV1, and skin test reactivity;. that the level of exposure to common indoor allergens affects the rate of longitudinal decline of pulmonary function; that high levels of exposure to common indoor allergens leads to longitudinal increases in airway responsiveness over time; and that settled dust levels of fungi (culturable and countable organisms) and antigens, cockroach (Bla g l, Bla g II], and cat (Fel d I) are correlated with airborne levels of these agents.

The study completion date listed in this record was obtained from the "End Date" entered in the Protocol Registration and Results System (PRS) record.


Ages Eligible for Study:   up to 100 Years   (Child, Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Male
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
No eligibility criteria
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00005284

Sponsors and Collaborators
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
OverallOfficial: Scott Weiss Brigham and Women's Hospital
  More Information

Publications: Identifier: NCT00005284     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 2005
R01HL034645 ( US NIH Grant/Contract Award Number )
Study First Received: May 25, 2000
Last Updated: March 15, 2016

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Lung Diseases
Lung Diseases, Obstructive
Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive
Respiratory Tract Diseases processed this record on May 25, 2017