Association between exhaled nitric oxide and systemic inflammatory markers
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BACKGROUND: Asthma is an inflammatory condition of the airways, and there is some evidence to suggest that it is associated with a systemic inflammatory response, as measured by C-reactive protein (CRP) and fibrinogen. Exhaled nitric oxide is a noninvasive measure of asthmatic airway inflammation. OBJECTIVE: To determine if there is an association between exhaled nitric oxide and these systemic inflammatory markers. METHODS: The Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study is a birth cohort of approximately 1,000 individuals born between April 1, 1972, and March 31, 1973. At the age of 32 years, study members were assessed for diagnosis of asthma, atopy by skin prick testing, smoking, body mass index, exhaled nitric oxide, high-sensitivity serum CRP, and plasma fibrinogen level. RESULTS: There was no significant association between exhaled nitric oxide and CRP (P = .99). There was a trend to an inverse association between exhaled nitric oxide and fibrinogen (P = .049), but this was not significant after adjusting for smoking and use of corticosteroids or after further adjustment for body mass index and atopy (P = .71). CONCLUSION: In this population-based sample of young adults, there was no association between airway inflammation, as measured by exhaled nitric oxide, and systemic inflammation, as measured by either CRP or fibrinogen.