Do Asthmatics Have Shared Traits Beyond Our Lungs?

While asthma has so many different presentations, the similarities are that our lungs are more reactive than the majority, and that hyperreactivity and hyperresponsiveness results in inflammation of our airways and constriction of the smooth muscle surrounding the airways. I wonder, though, are there other shared characteristics that we maybe possess because of our asthma phenotypes—or independent of them—because we have asthma?

Other commonalities among asthmatics?

For instance—are asthmatics more likely to have brown eyes? To have a good sense of humor? To like listening to music, or to like certain types of music? To enjoy writing? To be “nerds”, as John and I have alluded to—in the best way possible—before? To be strong athletes? I mean, sure, if 1 in 10 people has asthma, you’re bound to also have a certain thing in common with at least 10% of your friends, too, right? Likely it is pure coincidence, but, I cannot help but wonder!

Yes, this is likely pure coincidence, but go take a look at our Meet the Experts & Advocates page. One by one, click on our names, take a look at our pictures: the majority of us have brown hair. We all have asthma and interest in asthma, and we all enjoy writing (I presume, anyways!). And, after all, while I can’t find a hardcore statistic for this, black hair is the most common hair color in the world, brown coming in second, and I’d presume brown hair to be the most common hair color in North America… so it’s not really a coincidence that the majority of our mainly asthmatic bloggers have brown hair, right? Or, is that yet another thing that could be “linked” to the genetic profile of having asthma?

Common eating habits?

Or, what about our eating habits? Yes it could be partly age-related as well, but take Kat, Dia and myself: we all have asthma, of varying severity, but we all happen to be vegetarians as well. Pure coincidence? Possibly. Predisposition of asthmatics to forgo eating meat? Well, I don’t think I’m getting a survey study on that anytime soon, so that remains inconclusive.

The reality is, we could just notice these things as similarities because we have asthma. After all, while I know I have made more friends because of asthma (for a fact, thanks internet!), but say in my day-to-day life, do I have proportionally the same number of friends with asthma as I did prior to my own diagnosis, and I am just more apt to realize people have asthma or speak to people about asthma because I have it too? Or, am I seriously an asthmatic magnet no matter the circumstance? I think it’s just I am more inclined to notice—which, then, could go for the traits above, couldn’t it? Oh, quandary!

Have you found other traits that you think may be shared among yourself and others you know with asthma? Do you think this is just coincidence, or could it have a genetic “link” to a predisposition towards these features, likes/dislikes, desires, or preferences? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

 

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