Blood eosinophil counts and the development of obstructive lung disease: The Kangbuk Samsung Health Study

Hye Yun Park, Yoosoo Chang, Danbee Kang, Yun Soo Hong, Di Zhao, Jiin Ahn, Sun Hye Shin, Dave Singh, Eliseo Guallar, Juhee Cho, Seungho Ryu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim The impact of blood eosinophil counts on the development of chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) is unknown. We investigated whether a higher blood eosinophil count was associated with the risk of developing obstructive lung disease (OLD) in a large cohort of men and women free from lung disease at baseline. Methods This was a cohort study of 359 456 Korean adults without a history of asthma and without OLD at baseline who participated in health screening examinations including spirometry. OLD was defined as pre-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1)/forced vital capacity (FVC) <0.7 and FEV1 <80% predicted. Results After a median (interquartile range) follow-up of 5.6 (2.9-9.2) years, 5008 participants developed incident OLD (incidence rate 2.1 (95% CI 2.1-2.2) per 1000 person-years). In the fully adjusted model, the hazard ratios for incident OLD comparing eosinophil counts of 100- <200, 200- <300, 300-<500 and ≥500 versus <100 cells μL-1 were 1.07 (95% CI 1.00-1.15), 1.30 (95% CI 1.20-1.42), 1.46 (95% CI 1.33-1.60) and 1.72 (95% CI 1.51-1.95), respectively (ptrend<0.001). These associations were consistent in clinically relevant subgroups, including never-, ex- and current smokers. Conclusion In this large longitudinal cohort study, blood eosinophil counts were positively associated with the risk of developing of OLD. Our findings indicate a potential role of the eosinophil count as an independent risk factor for developing COPD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2003823
JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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