According to a recent study, asthma remains uncontrolled in women despite treatment, and central obesity seems to have a negative influence on the control of the disease. In a study published in the journal Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology, researchers indicate that that women should be studied as a separate group and suggested prospective studies with assessment of fat distribution and biomarkers, controlling for possible comorbidities related to asthma control.
“Our study demonstrates that women with poorly controlled asthma have more severe disease and increased obesity,” researchers in Brazil wrote according to a recent news release. “The study demonstrates that there is a negative relationship between central obesity and asthma control assessed using [Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA)] criteria and the [Asthma Control Questionnaire (ACQ)] controlling for other independent variables.”
With the aim of identifying the factors related to a lack of asthma control in women at the outpatient practice of a Federal University Hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in the study titled “Central obesity and other factors associated with uncontrolled asthma in women,” the researchers included 124 asthmatic women 18 years or older. The researchers utilized a questionnaire assessing demographic variables, comorbid conditions, education level, and disease history. Spirometric and Anthropometric measurements were also obtained. Three different tools assessed the control of Asthma: the Asthma Control Questionnaire (ACQ), the Asthma Control Test (ACT), and the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) criteria.
Results revealed that 31.5% of the women were obese. According to the CI (Conicity Index) and WC (waist circumference) 84% and 68% of the women were centrally obese, respectively.
“Our results showed that central obesity and not excess body fat was associated with asthma control in women,” the investigators wrote according to the news release.
The researchers did not find an association between asthma control and education, age, duration of the disease or Body Mass Index in the three tools, but they did find an association between asthma control and central obesity with the GINA and the ACQ evaluation measures, while adjusting for gastroesophageal reflux disease.
“The study also emphasizes the importance and complexity of defining asthma control precisely, and we suggest further prospective studies to control for a possible intervention of comorbidities that can emerge during the course of the disease,” the researchers concluded.