Weight loss can reduce asthma severity in obese adults

Ottawa, June 9 (IANS) Weight loss can improve asthma severity, asthma control, lung function, and quality of life of obese adults with asthma, say researchers, including one of Indian-origin.

The researchers found that weight loss reduced asthma severity as measured by airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) in obese adults.

“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 (AHR), resulting in purer results to support weight loss as a strategy to normalise or reverse asthma in this group of people hit very hard by the condition,” said Smita Pakhale from University of Ottawa in Canada.

The incidence of asthma is 1.47 times higher in obese people than non-obese people, and a three-unit increase in body mass index (BMI) is associated with a 35 percent increase in the risk of asthma, the study noted.

The researchers followed 22 obese participants with asthma aged 18 to 75 years with a BMI greater than 32.5 kg/m2.

Sixteen participants followed a behavioural weight reduction program for three months, and six served as control subjects.

“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 comorbidities to improve patient lives,” said Pakhale, an alumna of Government Medical College, Nagpur, Maharashtra.

The study appeared in the journal CHEST.

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