1 Citation (Scopus)


Chronic inflammation such as asthma may lead to higher risks of malignancy, which may be inhibited by anti-inflammatory medicine such as inhaled corticosteroids (ICS). The aim of this study was to evaluate if patients with asthma-Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) overlap have a higher risk of malignancy than patients with COPD without asthma, and, secondarily, if inhaled corticosteroids modify such a risk in a nationwide multi-center retrospective cohort study of Danish COPD-outpatients with or without asthma. Patients with asthma-COPD overlap were propensity score matched (PSM) 1:2 to patients with COPD without asthma. The endpoint was cancer diagnosis within 2 years. Patients were stratified depending on prior malignancy within 5 years. ICS was explored as a possible risk modifier. We included 50,897 outpatients with COPD; 88% without prior malignancy and 20% with asthma. In the PSM cohorts, 26,003 patients without prior malignancy and 3331 patients with prior malignancy were analyzed. There was no association between asthma-COPD overlap and cancer with hazard ratio (HR) = 0.92, CI = 0.78-1.08, p = 0.31 (no prior malignancy) and HR = 1.04, CI = 0.85-1.26, and p = 0.74 (prior malignancy) as compared to patients with COPD without asthma. ICS did not seem to modify the risk of cancer. In conclusion, in our study, asthma-COPD overlap was not associated with an increased risk of cancer events.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1463
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2022


  • asthma
  • asthma‐COPD overlap
  • cancer
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  • COPD
  • ICS
  • inhaled corticosteroids


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