Obese women have almost double the risk of developing asthma compared with women who are not obese, Canadian researchers recently reported in Toronto at the 2001 Congress of Epidemiology. The link between obesity and asthma risk did not apply to men in the study.
Researchers from the University of Ottawa tracked new cases of asthma among 4,266 men and 4,883 women over a 2-year period. Women with a BMI of at least 30 were about twice as likely to develop asthma as women with a normal BMI.
Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of weight relative to height that is used to determine whether a person is overweight or obese. People with a BMI above 25 are considered overweight, while those with a BMI above 30 are considered obese.
The findings of this study are consistent with previously reported data in which obesity was associated with a higher risk of asthma in Canadian women, though not in men.
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