The Association between Asthma and Cancer Diagnoses in the National Health Interview Survey
Sunday, March 4, 2018
South Hall A2 (Convention Center)
Niloofar Anooshiravani, MD, Sairaman Nagarajan, Maria-Anna Vastardi, MD, Helen G Durkin, Rauno Joks, MD

RATIONALE: Previous studies have investigated the relationship between asthma and allergies with cancer, but the direction and magnitude of association remains unclear. The aim of this study was to examine the association between personal histories of asthma and cancer, as diagnosed by a physician, in the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) from 2015.

METHODS: For this retrospective cohort study, NHIS data was analyzed using bivariate analysis between demographic variables, asthma and cancer (defined as ever being told subject has asthma or cancer, by a doctor, respectively). Covariates were identified from the literature and included age, sex, race and smoking status. Nested multivariate logistic regression models were then conducted. All statistical analysis was done using SAS v9.4.

RESULTS: Data for 33,672 adults was available from this study, most aged between 18-44 years with equal male and female participants. The Odds of cancer diagnosis with a history of ever having asthma was 0.73 (95% CI 0.67-0.81), p<.0001. After adjustment for age, sex, race and smoking status, the odds dropped to 0.64 (95%CI 0.58-0.71) p<.0001.

CONCLUSIONS: This study found that a personal history of asthma was a strong and significant protective factor for cancer diagnosis. These findings suggest the altered immune responses of asthma may allow for increased tumor surveillance.