In patients with established asthma, obesity and weight gain have been associated with increased asthma severity. The National Asthma Survey showed that compared to lean asthmatic subjects, obese asthmatic subjects are more likely to report continuous respiratory symptoms, experience a higher rate of nocturnal respiratory symptoms and suffer asthma exacerbations that required emergency room evaluation or hospitalization within the last 12 months. Even small weight increments can worsen asthma—severe asthmatic subjects who gained 5 pounds in a 12-month period reported worse asthma control and asthma-related quality of life, as well as a greater number of steroid bursts than patients who either maintained or lost weight. Weight loss induced by diet or surgery has shown to improve asthma control and lung function and reduce morbidity. Together, these data convincingly demonstrate that there is a causative association between excess body weight and increased asthma morbidity.
Our research focuses on helping these patients find medicines, medication supplements, and lifestyle changes that work for them to better manage their asthma.
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This ASPIRE grant brings together a highly experienced group of investigators from National Jewish Health and the University of Colorado with complementary skills and a strong record of working together. The goal of this team science grant is to generate preliminary data and publications for submitting a collaborative large-scale NIH grant application (e.g., P01, U19) in the area of obese asthma translational research. Specifically, we will determine the mechanisms and potential therapeutic targets for type 1 inflammation-high obese asthma endotype/phenotype that is refractory to current asthma therapies.