Obesity in Asthma: Approaches to Treatment
There is mounting evidence that obesity is associated with asthma, both of which are seeing a dramatic increase in prevalence. Not only is obesity a risk factor for the development of asthma but it is also associated with poor asthma control. Asthma phenotypes associated with obesity include early-onset allergic asthma and late-onset non-allergic asthma. The pathogenesis of the linkage is complex; obesity causes a variety of mechanical, metabolic, and immunological changes that can affect the airways. The treatment of asthma in obesity can be challenging, as obesity is associated with poor response to standard controller medications. A tailored approach that involves combining pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic therapies including weight loss, dietary interventions, and exercise, along with identification and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea, should therefore be considered in this population.