General and abdominal obesity and incident asthma in adults: the HUNT study
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionEuropean Respiratory Journal. 2013, 41 (2), 323-329. 10.1183/09031936.00012112
Measures of body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference define general obesity and abdominal obesity respectively. While high BMI has been established as a risk factor for asthma in adults, waist circumference has seldom been investigated. To determine the association between BMI, waist circumference and incident asthma in adults, we conducted a prospective study (n=23,245) in a population living in Nord-Trøndelag, Norway in 1995–2008. Baseline BMI and waist circumference were measured and categorised as general obesity (BMI ≥30.0 kg·m2) and abdominal obesity (waist circumference ≥88 cm in females and ≥102 cm in males). Incident asthma was self-reported new-onset cases during an 11-yr follow-up period. Odds ratios for asthma associated with obesity were calculated using multivariable logistic regression. General obesity was a risk factor for asthma in females (OR 1.96, 95% CI 1.52–2.52) and males (OR 1.84, 95% CI 1.30–2.59). In females, after additional adjustment for BMI, abdominal obesity remained a risk factor for asthma development (OR 1.46, 95% CI 1.04–2.05). Abdominal obesity seems to increase the risk of incident asthma in females in addition to BMI, indicating that using both measures of BMI and waist circumference in females may be a superior clinical assessment for asthma risk than any measure alone.