Anxiety and BMI affect asthma control regardless of physical activity


04 January 2022

2 minutes to read

Source / Disclosures

Disclosures: Baptista-Serna does not report any relevant financial disclosure. Please see the study for relevant financial information from all other authors.


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Anxiety and BMI can affect asthma control regardless of the level of physical activity, according to a study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.

Specifically, asthma and BMI can be viewed as “treatable traits” of asthma patients that can be treated through personalized medicine to improve quality of life and asthma control in this population.

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“Treatable traits are characteristics of the disease that are clinically relevant, identifiable, measurable, and treatable. In asthma, these traits might influence asthma control, both acutely (i.e., exacerbations) and in stable disease. Leyre Baptista-Serna, MD, from IIS-Fundación Jiménez Díaz in Madrid, Spain, and colleagues wrote, adding that the treatable traits of asthma have been classified into three areas: pulmonary, extra-pulmonary and lifestyle risk factors. .

To assess the association between treatable traits and asthma outcomes, Baptista-Serna and colleagues analyzed data from 434 asthma patients who they classified as with or without obesity (BMI 2 against 30 mg / kg2), with or without anxiety according to the Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS; normal assessment,

Based on these categories, the researchers divided the patients into four groups: Group 1 included active patients without anxiety and without obesity (n = 80; 67.5% female; mean age, 47.7 years); Group 2 included active patients with anxiety and / or obesity (n = 61; 73.7% female; mean age, 51.9 years); Group 3 included inactive patients without anxiety or obesity (n = 119; 59.6% women; mean age, 44.8 years); and group 4 included inactive patients with anxiety and / or obesity (n = 174; 66% female; mean age, 47.1 years).

Researchers compared asthma outcomes among these patient groups using the Asthma Control Test (ACT) and the Asthma Quality of Life Mini Questionnaire, showing significant differences between those. with or without treatable traits (P <.0001>

The researchers noted that patients who were physically inactive but who did not suffer from anxiety or obesity had lower rates of asthma exacerbation. However, this could be due to a smaller patient population or the fact that a physically inactive lifestyle may lead to fewer asthma exacerbations.

The following assessment included BMI, co-morbidities, any psychiatric illness, thyroid disease, ACT, hours of exercise per week, depression and anxiety, as well as active or inactive lifestyle.

The results supported the findings that treatable traits of asthma and BMI might affect both asthma control and quality of life.

“Interestingly, based on these results, exercise does not appear to play a key role in asthma control, although studies have shown that exercise leads to weight control and improved fitness. anxiety, “the researchers wrote.

Baptista-Serna and colleagues noted that their results may be limited because they did not objectively measure physical activity, nor take into account the influence of asthma exacerbations, lung function, and severity in cluster analysis.

“The inclusion of treatable traits such as obesity and anxiety would be easily achievable in everyday clinical practice,” they concluded. “This would allow the use of personalized medicine with simple and inexpensive methods (i.e. asking patients about hours of physical activity, anthropometric measurements and a questionnaire such as HADS) to predict which subjects will have poor asthma control and a worse perception of their quality of life.



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