Background: Bullous pemphigoid (BP) and asthma both share a pathogenic role of eosinophils and immunoglobulin E (IgE) and favorable response for corticosteroids and omalizumab. However, the association between these conditions is yet to be investigated. We sought to estimate the risk of having BP among patients previously diagnosed with asthma and to characterize patients with coexistent BP and asthma. Methods: Utilizing the dataset of Clalit Health Services, a population-based case-control study was conducted comparing BP patients (n = 3,924) with age-, sex-, and ethnicity-matched control subjects (n = 19,280) regarding the presence of asthma. Logistic regression models were utilized for univariate and multivariate analyses. Results: The prevalence of preceding asthma was higher in patients with BP than in control subjects (11.1 vs. 7.9%, respectively; p < 0.001). A history of asthma was associated with a 50% increase in the risk of BP (OR 1.45; 95% CI 1.30-1.62). The association was not altered greatly after adjusting for demographics (adjusted OR 1.43; 95% CI 1.28-1.61) as well as for demographics and comorbidities (adjusted OR 1.40; 95% CI 1.25-1.57). The average (SD) latency between the diagnosis of asthma and the development of BP was 12.5 (14.7) years. When compared with other patients with BP, those with a dual diagnosis of BP and asthma were older, had higher BMI, and were more frequently managed by corticosteroids and immunosuppressive and immunomodulatory adjuvants. Conclusions: Asthma confers a predisposition to the development of BP. Awareness of this association may be of help for physicians managing patients with BP and asthma. Further research is required to elucidate the mechanism underlying this observation.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)