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The Effects of Obesity in Asthma

Abstract

Purpose of Review

Rising costs and increasing morbidity makes the identification and treatment of high-risk asthma phenotypes important. In this review, we outline the complex relationship between obesity and asthma.

Recent Findings

Studies have confirmed a bi-directional relationship between obesity and asthma. Pathophysiological factors implicated include genetic risk, the effect of diet and microbiome, and obesity-related cytokines. There have been robust, albeit derived, efforts to phenotype this group with distinct clinical presentations based on age of onset of asthma. Unfortunately, the poor performance of biomarkers and traditional lung function testing has impeded diagnosis, phenotyping, and management of the obese asthma patient. There is also a lack of targeted interventions with weight loss showing some benefits.

Summary

Obesity increases the prevalence of asthma and is associated with worse outcomes. There are unique research and clinical challenges while managing this group of patients.

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Fig. 1

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Correspondence to Njira Lugogo.

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Njira Lugogo reports grants, personal fees, and non-financial support from GSK; grants and personal fees from AstraZeneca; personal fees from TEVA; grants and personal fees from Genentech; grants and personal fees from SANOFI/Regeneron; and personal fees from Norvartis outside the submitted work. Arjun Mohan, Jon Grace, and Bonnie Wang declare no conflicts of interest relevant to this manuscript.

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Mohan, A., Grace, J., Wang, B.R. et al. The Effects of Obesity in Asthma. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep 19, 49 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11882-019-0877-z

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Keywords

  • Obesity
  • Asthma
  • Management
  • Biologics
  • Severe