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CDC: Obesity Contributing to Hike in Asthma Rates Among Women

Why obese people are more likely to have asthma is unclear

asthma inhaler

WEDNESDAY, March 16, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- As weight rises, so too does the risk for asthma, according to a March data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

Lara Akinbami, M.D., and Cheryl Fryar, M.S.P.H., of the NCHS, used data from the 2001-2014 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for the new report. The prevalence of asthma among all adults increased from 7.1 percent in 2001-2002 to 9.2 percent in 2013-2014. This increase was driven by greater asthma rates among overweight adults, not by increases among obese or normal-weight adults, the researchers said.

Among women, 14.6 percent of obese women were diagnosed with asthma, compared with 7.9 percent of normal-weight women and 9.1 percent of overweight women, the researchers found. The asthma rate did not differ significantly by weight for men. The rates of asthma were higher among all obese adults regardless of race or age, compared with normal-weight adults.

"Why obese people are more likely to have asthma is unknown," Akinbami told HealthDay. "This study really confirms that obesity is a risk factor for asthma -- they are very tightly linked."

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Physician's Briefing