Can asthmatics who have neither smoked nor been passive smokers contract COPD?

Can asthmatics who have neither smoked nor been passive smokers contract COPD? I have been coping with asthma since childhood using epinephrine and ventolin tablets. Turning 60 years, ventolin and steroid inhalers as well as prednisolone tablets are not giving me long term relief. Yesterday I was put on SPIRIVA, implicating COPD?

19 Replies

  • I have copd and i smoked my father had it and never smoked take care

  • It's something I also wonder about as a life long asthmatic who had whooping cough extremely badly in my early thirties.

    The BLF nurse told me over th phone that asthma does change into a COPD like thing as we age. She advised that the corticosteroid sprays help prevent that or at least delay or minimise it.

    Asthma is far more shit that I had ever realised, I thought it was self contained if you know what I mean, I hadn't realised it could warp into other conditions.

    What have doctors told you about your test results, x-rays etc?

  • I think the answer to your question is yes I have come across people through PR and breathe easy that started with asthma did not smoke and in later years were diagnosed with COPD While smoking is the cause allegedly of most COPD . Not all of is caused by smoking as we have seen many people on this site. My dad had COPD and the more I read and see of people here it is becoming obvious now that there is a herediatry link too Hope this helps . Please take good care Best wishes Julie

  • COPD is not only caused by smoking, that's the reality of it. Someone could contract COPD through many other sources.

    If you've' 'moved' from Asthma to COPD then you need to talk to the medical professional who put you on Spriva and ask why, you're due an explanation I would think...

  • hi true Gordon its not just smoking,i worked in cotton mills 29odd years lived in a smokers household growing up had all the illnesses whooping cough measles flu meningitis didn't start cigs till I was 20yr old and never smoked a lot,

  • YES!!!!!!! very easily !!!!!!!

    Mine did and now I have components of both.....A world expert told me the COPD was a result of poor treatment/control of my asthma over a lifetime...

    enjoy your day


  • hi kevi true that

  • hi esmaminpogg ,I have a friend/ never smoked her partener as and still does smoke cigars ,my friend as had asthma most of her life,4yr ago was told had severe copd,and gp had just been giving her ventolin for asthma,was taken in hospital had all the tests showed copd,her partener as nothing wrong with him,plus she had worked in clubs bars and bookies for years before the smoking ban,hospital said its due to passive smoking

  • COPD can be caused by dust and vehicle exhaust fumes plus loads of other chemicals that life trows at us. COPD is just a general term for various lung conditions. Hopefully, your consultant will explain which condition you are suffering from.

  • Hi yes i have copd fev1 42% predicted and late onset eosiniphillic asthma i have never smoked was perfectly healthy till year ago doin aerobics yoga each week lost my job in a school (23 years) ! So yes i still can't believe it ! x

  • Thanks Kev for your input....I have been thinking along the same lines that its probably the lifetime poor management of asthma using epinephrine and ventolin tablets only when I have difficulty in breathing might have contributed to the new condition... I neither used steroids nor ventolin inhaler until I turned 60 years and my asthma was no longer responding to ventolin tablets.

  • So is it the corticosteroid inhaler we need, if you take that on its own will it help to prevent the conversion from asthma into something else?


  • Hi,

    I see that you are still concerned about using the long acting beta agonist......

    Let's just say that the better control you can keep of your asthma, the better health you can keep the more likely that you will delay any deterioration of your condition..

    Asthma is an inflammatory disease...steroids reduce the inflammation but cannot stop it altogether. Preventer....sun tan lotion

    Asthma is also characterised by a reversibility component, usually greater than 15%.

    If using the bronchodilator increases your peak flow significantly and you feel better then i would suggest you keep on with the combination!!

    How are you doing?

    Best wishes


  • It's because I have a genetic predisposition to atrial fibrillation and also have high blood pressure which initially started when my thyroid stopped working.

    Beta agonists are known to be bad for the heart, for example by raising BP amongst other things, so I am not being unreasonable in my cautious approach to that type of med.

    Oh I am ok, thanks Kevin, could be worse. It's unbelievable what we've had to deal with this year, hopefully our luck will change now. Thanks for asking, I hope you are doing as well as possible.

    koala xxx

  • My wife has AF and had a mini stroke last year..... All good now

    I too am on beta blockers and beta agonists so i understand your concerns.

    The dose of beta agonist is so small, administered through the lungs it is unlikely to have any effect on your heart. It is much more likely that the oral dose of beta blocker may reduce the effectiveness of the inhaled agonist.. This would result in brethlessness. The dose of beta blocker i am taking does not cause me breathing difficulties..

    I appreciate this may be different for you with the AF.

    Enjoy your weekend

    Kevin XX

  • I'm sorry to hear what your wife has been through, what a relief it's all ok now. My very best wishes to her and fingers crossed it won't happen again xxx

    As I'm sure you know, us lung people need to choose selective beta blockers, the ones which don't affect the lungs. Normal beta blockers are horribly uncomfortable even impossible for breathing I found, but the selective one was ok for that. I don't react well at all to beta blockers generally though, or so far, any blood pressure reducing meds. They make my legs swell and I feel like a complete zombie on them.

    My hormonal problems caused all sorts of things, including high BP. My thyroid and adrenal glands I mean, I am happy with my meds for those now. I was also deficient in quite a few things like iron, zinc, potassium etc, which is still ongoing. I hope once they are in the normal range that my BP will calm down. My doctors are on to it.

    I am "only" 46 so still working, if only part-time.

    Best wishes to you and you wife


  • Thank you for your concern and kind wishes.

    I think i appreciate your circumstances now much more than i did!

    I can only say that i empathasise with you on side effects of drugs! There is usually some combination of tablets that will suit you! It is up to you and your gps to find it! Good luck and hope all your medical problems get under control sooner than later!

    Best wishes


  • hi Kevin,

    Well I am not against taking meds per se, but I really hate side effects and I do think the pharmaceutical industry and doctors like stuffing meds down our throats. It's how treatment is done, mostly, unfortunately.

    Sometimes a med can cause more serious problems than the ones you had to start with, and I have read several reports indicating that long acting beta agonists are dangerous. Even in people without BP or heart issues.

    I do take them though, every day in my Flutiform or Seretide, but I am always looking for a safe, efficient alternative, and was wondering if Fluticasone on its own would be sufficient. Testing it myself would probably be the only way to find out I suppose.

    Wishing you a sunny Sunday!


  • I believe I had untreated asthma ,maybe just an inhaler ,not enough care went into it,so it has led to copd, experience is stronger than fiction.

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