Our prior work and the work of others have demonstrated that asthma increases the risk of a broad range of both respiratory (e.g., pneumonia and pertussis) and non-respiratory (e.g., zoster and appendicitis) infectious diseases as well as inflammatory diseases (e.g., celiac disease and myocardial infarction [MI]), suggesting the systemic disease nature of asthma and its impact beyond the airways. We call these conditions asthma-associated infectious and inflammatory multimorbidities (AIMs). At present, little is known about why some people with asthma are at high-risk of AIMs, and others are not, to the extent to which controlling asthma reduces the risk of AIMs and which specific therapies mitigate the risk of AIMs. These questions represent a significant knowledge gap in asthma research and unmet needs in asthma care, because there are no guidelines addressing the identification and management of AIMs. This is a systematic review on the association of asthma with the risk of AIMs and a case study to highlight that 1) AIMs are relatively under-recognized conditions, but pose major health threats to people with asthma; 2) AIMs provide insights into immunological and clinical features of asthma as a systemic inflammatory disease beyond a solely chronic airway disease; and 3) it is time to recognize AIMs as a distinctive asthma phenotype in order to advance asthma research and improve asthma care. An improved understanding of AIMs and their underlying mechanisms will bring valuable and new perspectives improving the practice, research, and public health related to asthma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine