Research done by Harvard School of Public Health suggests that obesity canincrease the risk of asthma, or aggravate the condition if already existing.
Obesity had been conclusively associated with increased risks of heart disease, type II diabetes, and certain forms of cancer. This is for the first time associations have been established between obesity and asthma.
In obese people lungs are under-expanded and size of the breadth thus shortens. This may lead to narrowing of the air passage. Also obese people have chronic low-grade systemic inflammation that originates from the fat tissue and can affect the smooth muscles in the air passage and make them narrow. Hormones like leptin, which is pro-inflammatory, is found in higher levels, and adiponectin, that is anti-inflammatory, is found in lower levels in obese people. All these together may affect the lung function of the obese people and result in breathing problems like incidence or increase in intensity of asthma.
Researchers of the study feels that these results are preliminary to studies that need to be done to find out all the effects associated with increasing body weight in people.
The research is published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.