Role of obesity in asthma control, the obesity-asthma phenotype

J Allergy (Cairo). 2013;2013:538642. doi: 10.1155/2013/538642. Epub 2013 Apr 24.

Abstract

Asthma is a disease with distinct phenotypes that have implications for both prognosis and therapy. Epidemiologic studies have demonstrated an association between asthma and obesity. Further studies have shown that obese asthmatics have poor asthma control and more severe asthma. This obese-asthma group may represent a unique phenotype. The mechanisms behind poor asthma control in obese subjects remain unclear, but recent research has focused on adipokines and their effects on the airways as well as the role of oxidative stress. Both surgical and nonsurgical weight loss therapy have shown promising results with improvements in asthma control and decreased asthma severity. Comorbid conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease and obstructive sleep apnea may also have a role in poor asthma control in obese asthmatics. Further research is needed to define the mechanisms behind this phenotype which will guide the development of targeted therapies.