Study finds weight loss in obese adults can reduce severity of asthma

A Canadian study published in the June issue of the journal Chest found weight loss reduced asthma severity as measured by airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) in obese adults. The incidence of asthma is 1.47 times higher in obese people than nonobese people, and a three-unit increase in body mass index is associated with a 35% increase in the risk of asthma. The study supports the active treatment of comorbid obesity in individuals with asthma.

The study, the first of its kind to rely on appropriate physiologic tests as diagnostic criteria for asthma, found normalization or improvements in AHR, asthma control, and quality of life.

"While previous studies have examined the relationship between asthma severity and obesity, this study is unique because of its strict adherence to an accurate diagnostic criteria and study outcome (AHR), resulting in purer results to support weight loss as a strategy to normalize or reverse asthma in this group of people hit very hard by the condition," said Smita Pakhale, MD, Department of Medicine, The Ottawa Hospital and University of Ottawa. "We were pleased to see significant improvement in asthma symptoms, as well as quality of life for these individuals. This study further supports the need to manage comorbidities to improve patient lives."


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More information: The entire study, Effects of Weight Loss on Airway Responsiveness in Obese Adults With Asthma: Does Weight Loss Lead to Reversibility of Asthma?, can be viewed in the June issue of Chest.
Journal information: Chest

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