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Eur Respir J. 2005 Feb;25(2):282-8.

Obesity increases the risk of incident asthma among adults.

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The Obstructive Lung in Northern Sweden Studies, Dept of Medicine, Sunderby Central Hospital of Norrbotten, Luleå, Sweden.


The annual incidence of asthma in adults in northern Sweden has been estimated at 2.3 per thousand population. Risk factors for incident asthma among adults were studied in a case-referent study based on incident cases of asthma during 1995-1999. The healthcare providers reported suspected cases of incident asthma. After clinical examination, 309 (65% female) of 473 reported subjects were included. Inclusion criteria were a history of incident asthma (onset <12 months) and verified bronchial variability. Referents were randomly selected and stratified by age, sex and area of residence. The significant risk factors were hay fever, a family history of asthma, ex-smoking status and elevated body mass index (25.0-29.9 and > or =30). The risk factor pattern was similar for females and males, and increased body mass index was a significant risk factor for both males and females, as well as for allergic and nonallergic subjects. In conclusion, in addition to hay fever, a family history of asthma, allergic sensitisation and ex-smoking status, increased body mass index was a significant risk factor for incident asthma independent of sex and allergic status.

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