Obesity and asthma are major public health concerns in the United States. The links between asthma and obesity are widely studied and well known; however, the effects of weight loss on asthma severity are not as evident. The following study aimed to examine whether weight reduction reduces asthma severity in adult obese-asthmatics especially by measuring airway hyper-responsiveness.
Researchers followed 22 obese-asthmatic subjects ranging in age from 18 to 75 years. Each individual had a body mass index (BMI) of >32.5kg along with airway hyper-responsiveness. Sixteen of the subjects followed a behavioral weight reduction program from 3 months and the remaining 6 subjects were the control group. The primary outcome was change in airway hyper-responsiveness over the course of 3 months. Secondary outcomes included changes in lung function, asthma control and overall quality of life.
After 3 months, the weight loss (intervention) group lost an average of 16.5kg while the control group gained an average of 0.6kg. There were significant improvements in asthma-control and asthma quality of life in the intervention group while these parameters remained unchanged in the control group. Finally, physical activity levels significantly increased in the intervention group but not the control group.
While small, the study shows that weight loss in obese asthmatics can improve asthma severity and result in improvements in airway hyper-responsiveness, asthma control, lung function and quality of life. These findings further support the need to actively pursue healthy weight loss measures.
Original Article: CHEST Journal
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