Genetics of asthma severity

  • Ladina Joos
  • Peter D. Paré
  • Andrew J. Sandford
Part of the Progress in Inflammation Research book series (PIR)


There is strong evidence for a major hereditary contribution to the etiology of asthma and allergic diseases. However, only a few epidemiological studies have specifically addressed the genetic contribution to asthma severity. Sarafino et al. studied 39 monozygotic twin pairs and 55 same-sex dizygotic twin pairs who were between 2 and 20 years of age and had asthma present in at least one member of each pair [1]. In the 23 monozygotic and 13 dizygotic twins who were concordant for asthma, there was a significant correlation of asthma severity, defined as the product of attack frequency and an intensity rating, for monozygotic pairs but not for dizygotic pairs. This difference between monozygotic and dizygotic severity correlation was significant. Wilson et al. studied factors relating to the severity of symptoms at 5 years of age in 51 children with a history of severe wheeze in early childhood [2]. A positive family history of asthma was the only significant predictor of overall severity, defined by severity of attacks and interval symptom score, suggesting a genetic predisposition.


Asthma Severity Allergy Clin Immunol Respir Crit Human Airway Smooth Muscle Cell Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Polymorphism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ladina Joos
    • 1
  • Peter D. Paré
    • 1
  • Andrew J. Sandford
    • 1
  1. 1.McDonald Research Laboratories/iCAPTURE CentreUniversity of British Columbia St. Paul’s HospitalVancouverCanada

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