Sibling Follow-up

It is known that Chronic Respiratory Diseases (CRDs) change over time, but the causes for these changes remain unknown

Some children with asthma continue to have asthma as adults and/or develop Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) while others are free of any adult CRD. Some of those who do not have childhood asthma develop asthma and/or COPD as adults, while the others remain free of CRDs from childhood to adulthood. Follow-up of siblings overtime is a powerful tool to investigate risk factors for these changes. As siblings share their childhood environment, but not usually the adult environment, it helps to disentangle childhood environment, adult environment and genetic factors. The completed follow-up of the TAHS probands together with baseline data provided a unique opportunity for conducting a sibling study, which could concurrently examine genes, childhood environment and adult environment for change in CRDs.

We have now traced 85% of the siblings and completed a postal survey on 71%. In total 1659 have attended our laboratories in Tasmania, Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales. We are currently entering and cleaning the data.