A recent study entitled “Effects of Weight Loss on Airway Responsiveness in Obese Adults With Asthma: Does Weight Loss Lead to Reversibility of Asthma?“ conducted in Canada and published in the journal CHEST in the June issue confirms that weight loss can reduce asthma severity according to measurements based on airway hyper responsiveness (AHR) — findings that underscores the need to further address the obesity epidemic.
Researchers found that the incidence of asthma is 1.47 times higher in obese people in comparison to non-obese individuals, and a 3-unit increase in body mass index is linked with a 35 percent higher risk of asthma. The conclusions of the study support the need for active treatment of comorbid obesity in individuals with asthma.
The study, which is the first of its kind that utilized appropriate physiologic tests as a diagnostic criteria for asthma, discovered that normalization or improvements in AHR, asthma control, and quality of life improved as obesity was addressed.
“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 normalize or reverse asthma in this group of people hit very hard by the condition. 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,” concluded Smita Pakhale from The Ottawa Hospital and University of Ottawa.
The project received funding from the Department of Medicine, The Ottawa Hospital, and the Ontario Thoracic Society.
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