Asthma is a chronic heterogeneous disease characterized by bronchial hyperresponsiveness and
airway inflammation. Obesity asthma is a relatively new phenotype of asthma in adults,
whereby adults with an increased body mass index (BMI) have a relative increased risk of
developing asthma. Overweight has a negative influence on lung function, and obese adults
exhibit more severe asthma symptoms. The pathophysiological link between obesity and
asthma is still unclear. It is possible that, in obese patients, systemic inflammation is playing a
role in initiating asthma symptoms.
To explore the relation between lipid level and inflammatory markers (eosinophils and
neutrophils) in blood of asthmatic patients and controls with different BMI-ranges.
In this retrospective study, the baseline data of three studies is used. Asthma patients (n=93)
and healthy controls (n=45) were divided into three BMI-ranges (<30kg/m2, 30-40kg/m2 and
>40kg/m2). Data of venous blood was collected to analyze the systemic inflammation and lipid
profile. Also, to determine the presence of a metabolic syndrome (abdominal circumference,
blood pressure, glucose, triglyceride level and HDL-ratio in blood) was collected.
Serum triglyceride was significantly increased in asthma patients with a BMI >40kg/m2
(p=0,006), compared to healthy controls in this BMI-range. Also, neutrophils are significantly
increased in patients with a high BMI, corrected for asthma, sex and metabolic syndrome.
Eosinophils are significantly increased in asthma patients, corrected for BMI, sex and metabolic
Patients with asthma and a high BMI (>40kg/m2) have significantly elevated serum triglyceride
levels, compared to healthy controls in this BMI-range. LDL-cholesterol and total cholesterol
were not significantly elevated in asthma patients with an increased BMI. It is possible, that
serum triglyceride is an inflammatory marker in asthma patients. The role of triglycerides in
inflammation needs to be clarified in the future.
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