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Weight on the waist increases asthma risk

I have read studies that show being overweight and obese increases the risk of asthma. What’s new about this study is that if that extra weight is carried on the waist the risk for asthma is much higher.

Women with a larger waist or ‘apple’ shaped figure have a higher risk of developing asthma, even if their body weight and BMI is normal!


Do you have a large waist?

The NHLBI guidelines classify a large waist circumference as:

  • Men with a waist greater than 102 cm or 40 in.
  • Women with a waist greater than 88 cm or 35 in.

If you are not sure what your waist measurement is, have a look at this video ‘How to measure your waist circumference’ which shows how and where to measure your waist accurately.

All you need is a tape measure!


The waist size study

The researchers analyzed data on 88,304 female teachers and school administrators over a 10 year period.

At the beginning of the study in 1995, 11,500 women (13%) were obese with a BMI 30 or over and 1,334 were extremely obese with a BMI 40 or over.


The results …

Some results were no surprise:

  • Overweight women were 40% more likely to have asthma than women of a normal weight.
  • Asthma was more than twice as likely in obese women.
  • Asthma was more than 3 times as likely in extremely obese women.
  • Obese and overweight women were at greater risk of hospital visits due to asthma.

The surprise of the study was that women of normal body weight, but with a waist circumference of more than 88cm were also at increased risk. About a third higher than those with a smaller waist.

The researchers wrote in conclusion, “This study confirms the association between excess weight and asthma severity and prevalence, and showed that a large waist was associated with increased asthma prevalence even among women considered to have normal body weight.” The study was published in the journal Thorax.


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About Kellie

Kellie is 37 years old and together with her brother Steve makes up the My Health Software team.

She helps on the websites and gathering news for the programs. Kellie worked in the medical industry prior to having her two children (8 and 6) and has a strong interest in self awareness and management of health conditions.


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