September 4, 2008 (Portland, Ore.) Obese people who have asthma are nearly five times more likely to be hospitalized for the condition than non-obese people with asthma, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published in the September issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
This is the first study to control for the risk factors smoking, use of oral or inhaled corticosteroid medications, gastroesophageal reflux disorder, and demographics that might explain the obesity-asthma association. Previous studies have shown that obese people are more likely to suffer asthma than non-obese people, and that obese patients often have more severe asthma than their non-obese counterparts.
More than 20 million Americans have been diagnosed with asthma. Nearly a third of adults with asthma are also obese, according to researchers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines obesity as having a Body Mass Index of 30 or higher (http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/obesity/defining.htm)
Researchers at Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore., and the Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Research in Denver surveyed 1,113 patients in Oregon, Washington, and Colorado, age 35 and older, who have persistent asthma. The researchers asked the patients about their weight, height, smoking habits, other illnesses, treatment and their asthma-specific quality of life, asthma control and asthma-related hospitalizations.
"The big finding here is that even after adjusting for risk factors, obese adults were nearly five times more likely to be hospitalized for their asthma," said study lead author David M. Mosen, Ph.D., MPH, of the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research. "Given that nearly 30 percent of our country is obese, this study is yet another example of the long-term dangers of obesity, along with heart disease, diab
|Contact: Danielle Cass|