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Sept. 5 2008 12:00 AM

In the first asthma study that controls for risk factors such as smoking, medication, gastroesophageal reflux, and demographics, researchers from Kaiser Permanente have found that hospitalization for asthma is about five times as likely for obese people than for non-obese people. The findings are published in the September issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Asthma is a condition characterized by airway passage constriction and breathing difficulties that affects over 20 million Americans. Further, about 33% of adults with asthma are also considered obese - defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. There have been several risk factors that researchers have used to explain the link between obesity and asthma such as smoking, use of oral or inhaled corticosteroid medications, gastroesophageal reflux disorder, and demographics. This new study controls for these factors and builds on the previous research that has found obese people to be more likely to suffer asthma and to have more severe asthma than non-obese people.


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