The incidence of asthma is 1.47 times higher in obese people than non-obese people. A three-unit increase in body mass index (BMI) is associated with a 35% increase in the risk of asthma. A new study has suggested that weight loss reduces asthma severity as measured by airway hyper-responsiveness (AHR) in obese adults. The research found that weight loss can improve asthma control, lung function, and quality of life of obese adults with asthma.
Smita Pakhale from University of Ottawa in Canada said, "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, 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."
The scientists followed 22 obese participants with asthma aged 18 to 75 years with a BMI greater than 32.5 kg/m2. 16 participants followed a behavioral weight reduction program for three months, and six served as control subjects.
Pakhale said, "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 co-morbidities to improve patient lives."
The study was published in CHEST.