NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 3:17 PM
Obese women are nearly twice as likely to develop asthma as those who maintain a healthy weight, according to a new study.
But oddly, the same does not hold true for men.
Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which issued these findings in a report released Wednesday, said they did not know why there was a gender discrepancy.
“That’s a fascinating question and I am not sure anyone has answered it,” said Dr. Lara Akinbami, lead author of the study. “There are probably as many hypotheses as there are causes. And probably many are true. There is not just one explanation.”
Working with data supplied by doctors between 2011 and 2014, researchers found that 15% of obese women had asthma, while only 8% of those at healthy weights did, and 9% of overweight women did.
Among men, weight had no impact on rates of asthma, a disease of the airways that results in wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing.
Researchers used the standard BMI chart to calculate normal, overweight and obese classifications.
No one has figured out why being fat can causes asthma rates to spike, said Akinbami, a pediatrician. She said the question calls for further study, citing one point of investigation: “Does weight loss help relieve asthma? That’s a big question.”
Among the questions that nag at asthma researchers is why boys have higher rates than girls — a trend that reverses around the time of puberty.
Overall, asthma is on the rise — rates among American adults went from 7% in 2001 to 9% in 2014.