Asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and type 2 diabetes in the Women's Health Study

Yiqing Song, Anna Klevak, Jo Ann E. Manson, Julie E. Buring, Simin Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Background: Chronic airway inflammation in asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may be involved in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes; however, prospective data have been limited. Methods: A prospective cohort of 38,570 women who were aged ≥45 years, free of cardiovascular disease and cancer at baseline, and free of diabetes at baseline and in the first 12 months were analyzed. We classified all women into three groups according to the presence and absence of self-reported asthma or COPD (including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and bronchiectasis). Results: During a median follow-up of 12.2 years, 2472 incident type 2 diabetes events were documented. Women who had ever reported asthma or COPD were associated with an increased diabetes risk; the multivariate RRs were 1.37 (95% CI, 1.20-1.57) for women who had asthma alone and 1.38 (95% CI, 1.14-1.67) for COPD without asthmatic symptoms. Furthermore, these associations were not significantly modified by age, smoking status, physical activity, BMI, alcohol intake, hormone replacement therapy, menopausal status or randomized treatment. Conclusions: Asthma and COPD were individually and independently associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in women, indicating that chronic airway inflammation may contribute to diabetes pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)365-371
Number of pages7
JournalDiabetes Research and Clinical Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Asthma
  • COPD
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and type 2 diabetes in the Women's Health Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this