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Arch Bronconeumol. 2007 Mar;43(3):171-5.

[Relationship between obesity and asthma].

[Article in Spanish]

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Escuela de Medicina, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago de Chile, Chile.


The prevalences of both obesity and asthma have clearly increased in recent decades, giving rise to speculation that they may be related. Studies have found that obesity precedes and predicts the onset of asthma (time effect), that increased obesity leads to more severe asthma (dose-response effect), that weight reduction (by diet or gastric bypass) improves asthmatic symptoms, and that obesity co-occurs with intermediate asthma phenotypes (obese young girls undergoing early menarche). In the light of that evidence, we can finally suggest a causal relationship between obesity and asthma. Various biological mechanisms (immunologic and inflammatory, hormonal, genetic, nutritional, mechanical, and others related to physical activity) have been put forth to explain the relationship. However, this relation is complex, involving not only the interaction of genetic and environmental factors in triggering both diseases but also the likely participation of several mechanisms at once.

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