(HealthDay News) – Asthma prolongs time to pregnancy, according to a study published online Nov. 14 in the European Respiratory Journal.

Elisabeth Juul Gade, MD, from Bispebjerg University Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues analyzed results of a survey of 15,250 twins living in Denmark (aged 12–41 years).

The researchers found that asthma was associated with increased time to pregnancy (27% vs. 21.6%; odds ratio [OR], 1.31; P=0.009). Even after adjustment for age, age at menarche, body mass index, and socioeconomic status, the association remained significant (OR, 1.25; P=0.05) and was much greater in those above 30 years of age (32.2% vs. 24.9%; OR, 1.44; P=0.04). There was a significant increased risk of prolonged time to pregnancy in untreated asthma patients, compared to healthy individuals (OR, 1.79; P=0.004). Asthma patients receiving any kind of treatment for asthma trended having a shorter time to pregnancy than untreated patients (OR, 1.4; P=0.134).

“The negative effect of asthma on fertility increases with age and is growing with disease intensity, indicating that a systemic disease characterized by systemic inflammation also can involve reproductive processes,” the author write.

The study was funded in part by Lundbeck Pharmaceuticals.

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