(HealthDay News) — People with asthma are more likely to develop cancer, particularly those not using inhaled steroids, according to a study published in Cancer Medicine.
Researchers used 2012 to 2020 electronic health records and claims data in the OneFlorida+ clinical research network to identify 90,021 adults with asthma and a matching cohort of 270,063 adults without asthma.
The researchers found that asthma patients were more likely to develop cancer than patients without asthma (hazard ratio [HR], 1.36; 99% CI, 1.29-1.44). An elevated cancer risk was seen in asthma patients for 5 of the 13 cancers studied, including lung cancer (HR, 1.56; 99% CI, 1.33-1.83), blood cancer (HR, 1.26; 99% CI, 1.08-1.47), melanoma (HR, 1.98; 99% CI, 1.67-2.36), kidney cancer (HR, 1.48; 99% CI, 1.11-1.99), and ovarian cancer (HR, 1.88; 99% CI, 1.40-2.51).
An elevated cancer risk was seen in asthma patients without inhaled steroid use (HR, 1.60; 99% CI, 1.50-1.71) and with inhaled steroid use (HR, 1.11; 99% CI, 1.03-1.21). The cancer risk was elevated for 9 of the 13 cancers in asthma patients without inhaled steroid use and for 2 of the 13 cancers in asthma patients with inhaled steroid use, suggesting a protective effect of inhaled steroid use against cancer.
“This is the first study to report a positive association between asthma and overall cancer risk in the US population,” the researchers wrote. “More in-depth studies using real-word data are needed to further explore the causal mechanisms of asthma on cancer risk.”