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Interventions on BMI and physical activity reduce the risk of asthma

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Interventions on BMI and physical activity reduce the risk of asthma

Interventions on Body Mass Index (BMI) and physical activity may have a modest impact on the risk of adult-onset asthma. Researchers of CREAL, an ISGlobal alliance research centre, analyzed the incidence of adult-onset asthma after hypothetical interventions in 76,470 US women from the Nurses’ Health Study followed between 1988 and 1998.

The authors used the parametric g-formula to estimate the 10-year asthma risk under the following 4 scenarios: no intervention, 5% BMI reduction in a 2-year period for those who were overweight or obese, at least 2.5 hours/week of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, and both of the previous 2 interventions.

During the 10-year follow-up period, 1,146 women (1.5%) developed asthma. The asthma risk was reduced by 4% under the BMI intervention and similar reduction was observed with the physical activity intervention. The joint intervention produced a higher reduction in asthma incidence.

According to Dr. Judith Garcia Aymerich, principal author and CREAL researcher, “one the novelties of this study is the analysis of observational data simulating the effect of interventions which allows the results to be directly used for public health interventions”.

In this study, the mean age was 55 years, 29% were of women were overweight and 15% were obese, demonstrating that a high proportion of women could benefit from interventions on BMI.

The institutional review boards of Partners Health System and the Harvard School of Public Health (both in Boston, Massachusetts) approved the Nurses’ Health Study protocols.

CREAL is part of the centres CERCA of the Generalitat of Catalonia.

Garcia-Aymerich J, Varraso R, Danaei G, Camargo Jr CA, Hernan MA. Incidence of adult-onset asthma after hypothetical interventions on body mass index and physical activity: An application of the parametric G-Formula. Am J Epidemiol 2013


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