Published: 27 April 2022

Authors: Subhabrata Moitra, Anne-Elie Carsin, Michael J Abramson, Simone Accordini, Andre F S Amaral, Josep Anto, Roberto Bono, Lidia Casas Ruiz, Isa Cerveri, Leda Chatzi, Pascal Demoly, Sandra Dorado-Arenas, Bertil Forsberg, Frank Gilliland, Thorarinn Gislason, Jose A Gullon, Joachim Heinrich, Mathias Holm, Christer Janson, Rain Jogi, Franciscom Gomez Real, Debbie Jarvis, Benedicte Leynaert, Dennis Nowak, Nicole Probst-Hensch, Jose Luis Sanches-Ramos, Chantal Raherison-Semjen, Valerie Siroux, Stefano Guerra, Manolis Kogevinas, Judith Garcia-Aymerich

Source: This abstract has been sourced from NZ Respiratory Research Review Issue 206


    Introduction Obesity is a known risk factor for asthma. Although some evidence showed asthma causing obesity in children, the link between asthma and obesity has not been investigated in adults.

    Methods We used data from the European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS), a cohort study in 11 European countries and Australia in 3 waves between 1990 and 2014, at intervals of approximately 10 years. We considered two study periods: from ECRHS I (t) to ECRHS II (t+1), and from ECRHS II (t) to ECRHS III (t+1). We excluded obese (body mass index≥30 kg/m2) individuals at visit t. The relative risk (RR) of obesity at t+1 associated with asthma at t was estimated by multivariable modified Poisson regression (lag) with repeated measurements. Additionally, we examined the association of atopy and asthma medication on the development of obesity.

    Results We included 7576 participants in the period ECRHS I-II (51.5% female, mean (SD) age of 34 (7) years) and 4976 in ECRHS II-III (51.3% female, 42 (8) years). 9% of participants became obese in ECRHS I-II and 15% in ECRHS II—III. The risk of developing obesity was higher among asthmatics than non-asthmatics (RR 1.22, 95% CI 1.07 to 1.38), and particularly higher among non-atopic than atopic (1.47; 1.17 to 1.86 vs 1.04; 0.86 to 1.27), those with longer disease duration (1.32; 1.10 to 1.59 in >20 years vs 1.12; 0.87 to 1.43 in ≤20 years) and those on oral corticosteroids (1.99; 1.26 to 3.15 vs 1.15; 1.03 to 1.28). Physical activity was not a mediator of this association.

    Conclusion This is the first study showing that adult asthmatics have a higher risk of developing obesity than non-asthmatics, particularly those non-atopic, of longer disease duration or on oral corticosteroids.

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