Asthma Hits the Obese Harder

Obesity seems to make everything worse. Here’s what I mean. New research claims that serious asthma is more likely to develop in obese individuals than the non-obese. Robert Preidt of HealthDay News reports:
In their study, a team at Emory Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta examined data from the U.S. National Asthma Survey.


"Our analysis showed that out of more than 3,000 patients with asthma, obese patients were 66 percent more likely to report continuous symptoms, 36 percent more likely to miss more days of work and 52 percent more likely to be classified as having either moderate or severe persistent asthma when compared to non-overweight people," Dr. Brian Taylor, a pulmonary fellow, said in a prepared statement.

These findings held true after the researchers adjusted for factors including gender, race, age, smoking status, and family history of asthma.

Taylor said he and his colleagues, "noted that obese patients were more likely to have less education, be unemployed and be African-American."

They also found that obese people with asthma made more frequent emergency room visits and used daily controller and as-needed rescue medications more often. The association between obesity and asthma severity seemed slightly stronger in women than in men, which has been noted in previous studies.

Southern California Dirty-Dirty

Unfortunately for Los Angeles, it looks like there are more smog jokes on the horizon. The American Lung Association has once again fingered Los Angeles as having the most polluted air in the country. The Associated Press reports:
The news wasn't all bad for Los Angeles. Despite the dubious distinction, the number of days residents breathed the nation's worst ozone levels was fewer than in previous years.


"Nobody is surprised that LA has an air pollution problem," said Janice Nolen, the association's assistant vice president for national policy and advocacy. "The problems there are one of the reasons we have the Clean Air Act. But it is important for folks to know that there has been some improvement."

The organization based the rankings on ozone pollution levels produced when heat and sunlight come into contact with pollutants from power plants, cars, refineries and other sources. The group also studied particle pollution levels emitted from these sources, which are made up of a mix of tiny solid and liquid particles in the air.
Pollution and chemicals are a scary. According to Dr. Fuhrman they can bring on things like asthma. He goes into more detail in Disease-Proof Your Child:
Living in an urban area around pollution is an important contributor. Non-dietary risk factors include exposure to day care before four months of age, and exposure to wood smoke, oil smoke, or exhaust anytime from birth to age five all increase asthma risk by 50 percent.1
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