Losing Weight Can Control Asthma in Obese Patients


Study results show asthma severity can be controlled with weight loss in obese patients.

Asthma severity can be controlled with weight loss in obese patients, according to findings published in the journal Chest.

Researchers from The Ottawa Hospital in Canada studied 22 obese, asthmatic participants aged 18 to 75 years in order to examine whether or not weight reduction would reduce asthma in the study cohort. The researchers noted that the link between asthma and obesity are commonly studied, the specific study of airway hyper responsiveness (AHR) has received limited attention. So, the researchers observed patients with a BMI greater than 32.5 kg/ m2 throughout a three month behavioral weight reduction program.

Six of the patients served as control subjects and almost all of the patients (95 percent) were women. The researchers also measured changes in lung function, asthma control, and quality of life at the end of the three month period.

The researchers found that after the three month observation period, the mean weight loss was about 16.5 ± 9.9 kg in the intervention group. The control group had an average weight gain of 0.6 ± 2.6 kg throughout the observation period.

“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, 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,” Smita Pakhale, MD, Department of Medicine, The Ottawa Hospital and University of Ottawa, explained in a press release. “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.”

Additionally, the researchers learned there were what they described as “significant improvements” in PC20, FEV1, FVC, asthma control, and asthma quality of life in the intervention group. Each of these parameters remained unchanged in the control patients.

The researchers added that the physical activity levels in the intervention group increased significantly, though not in the control group.

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