Excess Weight Associated With Adult-Onset Asthma

Increased risk seen in overweight and obese women and in all women with abdominal obesity

THURSDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- In adult women, overweight, obesity and abdominal obesity, regardless of body mass index, are independently associated with adult-onset asthma, according to a study published online Aug. 25 in Thorax.

Julie Von Behren, of the Northern California Cancer Center in Berkeley, and colleagues analyzed data on 88,304 women enrolled in the California Teachers Study, including 11,500 (13 percent) who were obese and 1,334 who were extremely obese at baseline.

Compared to normal-weight women, the researchers found the adjusted odds ratio for asthma was significantly higher, ranging from 1.40 for overweight women to 3.30 for extremely obese women. They also found that, even among women with a normal body mass index, waist circumference greater than 88 cm was associated with increased asthma prevalence (odds ratio, 1.37).

"In the next phase of this study we will prospectively ascertain new asthma cases and will be able to evaluate body mass index, waist size and weight change as risk factors for incident asthma in women," the authors conclude.

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