Persistent Chlamydia Pneumoniae serology is related to decline in lung function in women but not in men. Effect of persistent Chlamydia pneumoniae infection on lung function
1 University of Iceland, Faculty of Medicine, Reykjavik, Iceland
2 Department of Medicine Landspitali University Hospital, Reykjavik, Iceland
3 Icelandic Heart Association, Kopavogur, Iceland
4 Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Landspitali University Hospital, Reykjavik, Iceland
5 Respiratory Medicine and Allergology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
BMC Pulmonary Medicine 2010, 10:44 doi:10.1186/1471-2466-10-44Published: 25 August 2010
Chlamydia pneumoniae (C pn) infection causes an acute inflammation in the respiratory system that may become persistent, but little is known about the long-term respiratory effects of C pn infections. Aim: To estimate the long term respiratory effects of C pn with change in forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and forced vital capacity (FVC) as a main outcome variable.
The study comprised of 1109 subjects (500 men and 609 women, mean age 28 ± 6 years) that participated in the Reykjavik Heart Study of the Young. Spirometry and blood samples for measurements of IgG antibodies for C pn were done at inclusion and at the end of the follow-up period (mean follow-up time 27 ± 4 years).
Having IgG against C pn at both examinations was significantly associated to a larger decrease in FEV1 (6 mL/year) and FVC (7 mL/year) in women but not in men. In women the association between C pn and larger FEV1 decline was only found in women that smoked at baseline where having C pn IgG was associated with 10 mL/year decline compared to smokers without C pn IgG. These results were still significant after adjustment for age, smoking and change in body weight.
Our results indicate that persistent C pn serology is related to increased decline in lung function in women but not in men. This effect was, however, primarily found in smoking women. This study is a further indication that the pathophysiological process leading to lung impairment may differ between men and women.