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Asthma control worse in obese patients

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Reuters Health

Monday, September 1, 2008

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - For the same perceived severity of asthma symptoms, obese patients exhibit worse asthma control than their non-obese peers, Canadian researchers have found.

The findings, they say, suggest that people who are obese with asthma may carry a specific trait or "phenotype" that causes them to have poorer asthma control than people who are not obese with asthma.

Dr. Louis-Philippe Boulet and colleagues, from Hopital Laval in Quebec, studied 44 obese subjects with asthma with 44 subjects with asthma who were not obese.

Compared with those who were not obese, those who were obese had poorer asthma control, as well as lower lung function. Moreover, blood levels of C-reactive protein and fibrinogen -- two markers of inflammation -- were higher in obese subjects than nonobese subjects.

Lung and system-wide inflammatory characteristics and specific patterns of lung function changes suggest that obese patients may have a different type of asthma than nonobese patients, the investigators say.

"Our study points to the need for studies of the cause of poorer asthma control in obese subjects," they conclude. "It is hoped that the results will help to provide better asthma management to subjects with comorbid obesity."

SOURCE: Chest, August 2008.

Reuters Health

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