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Abdominal obesity (waist over 88cm in women or 102cm in men) may be aasociated with a higher risk of suffering asthma than just being obese. In the USA over 75% of women suffer abdominal obesity when aged 60 or older.
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How obesity is measured
The most widely acepted formula is the body mass index: it takes into account height and weight. Normal figures should be up to 25, overweight when 25 to 30, and obesity if greater than 30.
For a 75 kg and 1,60 m person:
- divide 75 by 2,56 (1,60 times 1,60)
- and the result is a 29,29 body mass index.
This is a clearly overweight person, and getting really close to obesity (almost reached 30).
Waist really matters (more than just the kilograms)
Increasing the body mass index means a double-fold chance of suffering asthma (apart from diabetes, hypertension or artheriosclerosis).
In a huge study in California it was observed that abdominal obesity increased the risk of developing asthma even in those individuals with normal body mass index, because this measure does not detect all the obese (especially among men).
Less air at the end of breathing in obese individuals
The reason may be in the disminished air volume in the lungs of the obese individuals at the end of the breathing (known as functional residual capacity) and the size of the airway, increasing the bronchi response.
Moreover, obesity would lead to a low grade inflammation with an increase in a number of molecules of the inflammation process (cytokines, chemokynes and hormones).
Did you try to measure your waist?
Last updated: march 25th, 2013