Belly fat, linked with diabetes and heart disease, could also have a bearing on the development of asthma, research in Norway shows.
Previous studies have found a link between asthma and body mass index (BMI), a height to weight ratio that’s an indicator of overall obesity.
Researchers followed 23,245 adults without asthma, aged 19-55 years from the second Norwegian Nord-Trondelag Health Study (HUNT), for 11 years, according to a statement of Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
The participants had their BMI measured along with their waist circumference to test overall obesity and central obesity, respectively. They were also asked to report incidence of asthma.
The results showed that people who had belly fat but were not overall obese were 1.44-times more likely to develop asthma. Additionally, people who were both centrally obese (belly fat) and obese overall were 1.81-times more susceptible.
Ben Brumpton of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology said: “Asthma can affect people of all sizes, but our study has highlighted both the individual and combined effect of central obesity and overall obesity on asthma development.
The findings were presented at the European Respiratory Society’s Annual Congress in Amsterdam Sunday.