A deep breath bronchoconstricts obese asthmatics.

J Asthma. 2010 Feb;47(1):55-60. Holguin F, Cribbs S, Fitzpatrick AM, Ingram RH Jr, Jackson AC. Asthma Institute, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA.

BACKGROUND: Asthma is characterized by the loss of a deep breath (DB)-induced bronchodilation and bronchoprotection. Obesity causes lung restriction and increases airway resistance, which may further worsen the capacity of a DB to induce bronchodilation; however, whether increasing BMI impairs the bronchodilatory response to a DB in asthmatics is unknown.

METHODS: The population consisted of 99 subjects, 87 with moderate to severe persistent asthma and 12 obese control subjects. Using transfer impedance we derived airway resistance (Raw). Participants breathed for 1 minute and took a slow DB followed by passive exhalation to functional residual capacity (FRC) and tidal breathing for another minute.

RESULTS: After a DB, obese asthmatics had the largest percent increase in Raw (median 9.8% interquartile range [IQR] 3.1-15.1), compared with overweight (6.5% IQR -1.3, 12.1) and lean (0.7% IQR -3, 7.9) asthmatics and obese controls (2.5% IQR -.6, 11) (p for trend = 0.008). The association between the percent increase in Raw after a DB and BMI as a continuous variable was significant (p = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS: In obese, moderate to severe and poorly controlled asthmatics, a DB results in increased Raw. This phenomenon was not observed in leaner asthmatics of similar severity or in obese control subjects.

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