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Emory University researchers find persistent and severe asthma associated with obesity

n area to ensure these variables were not playing a role in the results. Even after adjusting for the variables, the researchers still found the same outcome.

"Our analysis showed that out of more than 3,000 patients with asthma, obese patients were 66 percent more likely to report continuous symptoms, 36 percent more likely to miss more days of work and 52 percent more likely to be classified as having either moderate or severe persistent asthma when compared to non-overweight people," says Dr. Taylor. "We also noted that obese patients were more likely to have less education, be unemployed and be African-American."

The researchers found no significant differences with regard to smoking status and family history of asthma.

Other outcomes also found to be more common in obese patients with asthma included more frequent emergency room visits as well as greater use of both daily controller and as-needed rescue medications. Further, obese patients were less likely to be in asthma remission compared to non-overweight patients.

As demonstrated in previous studies, the associations of asthma severity and obesity in this study seem to be slightly stronger in women than men.

"To our knowledge, this is one of the most comprehensive and largest all-asthma surveys showing the association between asthma severity and obesity using a broad range of severity outcomes," says Fernando Holguin, MD, MPH, assistant professor of pulmonary medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, and physician at Emory Crawford Long Hospital and senior researcher of this paper.

"However, we still cannot determine exactly how asthma severity and obesity are linked; it is possible that reduced physical activity caused by more severe asthma may lead to weight gain," says Dr. Holguin.

The researchers state there may be a connection with the hormone leptin, which is produced by fat cells and plays a role in body weight regulation.
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Contact: Janet Christenbury
jmchris@emory.edu
404-727-8599
Emory University
23-May-2007


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