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Obesity does not worsen asthma, but may reduce response to medications
Date:6/2/2009

measures of lung function. They also found slightly greater use of rescue inhalers among overweight patients (1.2 puffs per day vs. 1.1 puffs per day) and slightly higher scores asthma-relate quality of life questionnaires (5.77 vs. 5.59).

"These differences were small and are unlikely to be of any real clinical significance," said Dr. Sutherland.

Response to medications, however, did show an effect of increased weight. Among a subgroup of 183 people, lean patients taking inhaled corticosteroids alone showed a 55% greater reduction in exhaled nitric oxide, a measure of inflammation. Lean patients taking a combination inhaled steroid and long-acting beta agonist increased their FEV1 by 80 more milliliters. There were no differences, however, between these patients in the number of asthma exacerbations.

"The data suggest overweight and obese people respond less well to controller medications for asthma than do their lean counterparts," said Dr. Sutherland. "These data come from already-completed studies designed to answer other questions, however, and ongoing studies are being conducted to more definitively determine the effect of increased weight on treatment response in asthma."


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Contact: William Allstetter
allstetterw@njc.org
303-398-1002
National Jewish Medical and Research Center
Source:Eurekalert

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