Obesity linked to a higher risk of asthma among women


Normal-weight women suffering from asthma – the chronic disease of the airways that cause wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing, rates around 7% while the obese ones got the highest rates—nearly 15%, a new research of government rolled out Wednesday stated.

According to a brief report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the more weight rises, the higher risk of asthma is.


In addition, obese women are nearly twice as likely to develop asthma as those who maintain a healthy weight, according to this new study. However, the trend does not keep true for men.

Using data from 2001 -2014 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, Akinbami with her colleague Cheryl Fryar, a health statistician, finished this new research. Thus, the prevalence of asthma among all adults rose from 7.1% in 2001-2002 to 9.2% in 2013-2014. With the standard BMI chart to calculate normal, overweight and obese classifications, researchers has found that this trend was driven by greater asthma rates among overweight adults, not by increases among obese or normal-weight adults, the researchers said.

The research claimed that obese women are nearly twice as likely to develop asthma as those who control a normal weight. In specific, 15% of obese ones suffered from asthma in comparison with 8% of normal-weight folks and 9% of overweight women, the research showed.  However, the trend does not match for men; the asthma rate did not range significantly by weight among them, the researchers said.

Another question that nags at researchers is why young boys have higher rates than girls and this trend that reverses around the adulthood.

No one has known exactly why obese people are more likely to develop the disease until now, said Akinbami. It has not been proved that there was a gender discrepancy here. Lead researcher Dr. Lara Akinbami, a medical officer at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics stated. “We just know they have a higher risk….There are probably as many hypotheses as there are causes. And probably many are true. There is not just one explanation.” She’s willing for further study, citing one point of investigation: “Does weight loss help relieve asthma?”

There is no evidence that losing weight reduces asthma, Akinbami said. But preventing obesity and controlling the disease are both possible.

The researchers claimed that obesity is really the risk for asthma. But, this research wasn’t aimed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship between obesity and asthma. It’s obvious that there is an association between these factors.

Beside, other expects have different assumptions. Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, speculated that hormones might take the responsitility for the difference. “That’s something we do not know at this point,” he stated.

Fat man holding a measuring tape. Weight Loss.

He expected that the connection between obesity and the disease might be due to the excess weight which making patients harder to breathe, and losing weight making breathing easier.

In fact, we have thousand reasons to control the weight and prevent obesity. Definitely, the risk of asthma is not at the top of the list. High blood pressure and diabetes are above that, “but sure, asthma is another reason,” Horovitz said.

Findings from this new research were released March 16 in a report of the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics.



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