Cytokines play a key role as mediators in the immuno-pathogenesis of asthma.1 Age at asthma onset and the presence of T-helper 2 mediated eosinophilic airway inflammation have been identified as two important and distinct factors for defining asthma phenotypes,2 but little is known about longitudinal associations between systemic cytokine concentrations and asthma. In a previous investigation of serum cytokine concentrations among 44-year-old adults and asthma phenotypes, we found early-onset persistent asthma (from age 13 to 44 years) was associated with lower levels of interleukin (IL) -10, while asthma remission was associated with lower levels of IL-6 and TNF-alpha.3 We hypothesised that, in middle-aged people with asthma serum cytokines might predict future asthma persistence beyond 44 years. Published studies regarding these potential associations are largely limited to childhood asthma, with only the Epidemiological study on the Genetics and Environment of Asthma (EGEA study) assessing cytokines profiles and asthma status longitudinally in adults, where they found patients with "high IL-1Ra and high IL-10" serum cytokine profiles had lower risks of worsening asthma control.4.
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- asthma, cytokines, IL-4, IL-6, age at onset