Nonallergic Asthma Linked to Obesity in Adults

Highest prevalence seen in women

TUESDAY, Sep. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Higher body mass index is associated with a higher risk of asthma, and the relationship is strongest in nonallergic women with asthma, according to a study in the September issue of Chest.

Yue Chen, Ph.D., of the University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and colleagues analyzed self-reported data from a national survey of 86,144 Canadians aged 20 to 64 years who had physician-diagnosed asthma. Respondents answered questions about weight, allergies, and smoking. The incidence of asthma was determined by body mass index, age, and allergy history separately for men and women.

The risk of obesity associated with asthma was stronger in women (adjusted odds ratio, 1.85) than men (adjusted odds ratio, 1.21). For each unit increase in body mass index, nonallergic women had a 7.1 percent increase, allergic women had a 4 percent increase, nonallergic men had a 3.4 percent increase and allergic men had a 2.4 percent increase in asthma risk. Women without allergies had a greater risk of obesity-related asthma than allergic women (adjusted odds ratio of 2.53 and 1.57 respectively), as did men (1.30 and 1.18 respectively).

"Our study demonstrated that obesity associated with asthma was modified by sex and history of allergy. A stronger association was found in women than in men, and in those with no allergy history than in those with allergy history," the authors concluded.

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