Obesity May Make Asthma More Likely
It Is Nearly Twice as Common Among Obese Adults, Experts Say
April 2, 2007 -- Being overweight or obese may make asthma more likely, a
new study shows.
That may be one more health reason to lose extra pounds, note the
They included E. Rand Sutherland, MD, MPH, who works in Denver at the
National Jewish Medical and Research Center and the University of Colorado
Health Sciences Center.
Sutherland's team analyzed data from seven studies on weight and asthma.
Together, the studies included more than 333,000 adults in the U.S., Canada,
Participants reported their height, weight, and whether or not they had
asthma. The researchers calculated participants' BMI (body mass index), which
relates height to weight.
A BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese. A BMI of at least 25 but less
than 30 is considered overweight.
Sutherland's team pooled data from all seven studies. They found that,
compared with participants with normal BMI, asthma was 38% more common in
overweight adults and nearly twice as common among obese adults.
But Sutherland and colleagues aren't blaming asthma solely on weight. Many
factors affect asthma risk.
The role of asthma risk factors such as smoking, allergies, and family
history of asthma isn't clear in the review.
Sutherland's team also doesn't promise that losing extra weight will prevent
Asthma affects people of all shapes and sizes. Thinness is not a guarantee
of health. None of the reviewed studies test the theory that losing extra
weight makes asthma less likely.
Some participants may not have reported their weight and height accurately,
and some may have mistakenly thought they had asthma, note Sutherland and
The review appears in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical