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Editorials |

Adipokines and Asthma

Anne E. Dixon, MDFCCP
Author and Funding Information

Correspondence to: Anne E. Dixon, MD, FCCP, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, HSRF 226B, 149 Beaumont Ave, Burlington, VT 05405; e-mail: anne.dixon@uvm.edu

Dr. Dixon is Associate Professor, University of Vermont College of Medicine.


The author has no financial or other potential conflicts of interest to disclose.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (www.chestjournal.org/misc/reprints.shtml).


Chest. 2009;135(2):255-256. doi:10.1378/chest.08-2263
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Obesity is a risk factor for the development of asthma. The United States and much of the world are experiencing an unprecedented epidemic of obesity, and so it is estimated that obesity may be responsible for 250,000 new cases of asthma per year in the United States.1 Not only is obesity a risk factor for asthma, but asthma in the obese has distinct features compared to disease in the nonobese. Obese asthmatics tend to have more severe disease,2,3 respond less well to standard controller therapy,4 and have evidence of cellular glucocorticoid resistance,5 this despite the fact they do not appear to have worsened airway inflammation as measured by either sputum eosinophils or neutrophils.6 Asthma in the obese represents a growing epidemic of pulmonary disease, and these patients are distinct from nonobese asthmatics. Accordingly, studies on the pathogenesis of asthma in the obese are critical to guide our understanding of this disease process; such studies will ultimately guide the development of new therapies to treat the obese asthmatic population.

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