It appears that as weight increases, so too does the risk of asthma. In a study conducted in the US over a period of four years, researchers found that while asthma rates among normal-weight and slightly overweight adults ranged between 7 to 8 percent, in the case of obese men this topped 11 percent and, in obese women an alarming 15 percent showed signs of asthma.
Results of the study, conducted during 2011-2014 period, did not point to why risk of asthma tended to be higher among obese people, but researchers said, “We just know they have a higher risk. However, it is clear that “obesity is the risk for asthma, not the other way around," they added.
They noted that the study was not designed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship between obesity and asthma. It only showed an association between these two factors. While it is unknown whether losing weight reduces asthma, the researchers pointed out that preventing obesity and controlling asthma are both possible.
The study also did not clarify why obese women have a higher risk of asthma than men, though experts speculate that it could have to do with hormones. Asthma is a chronic disease of the airways. Symptoms include shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness and cough.