New research suggests weight-loss surgery, known as bariatric surgery, could prove beneficial for obese people afflicted with asthma, as the study’s findings suggest a significant post surgery reduction in asthma flare-ups.
In the study, which was recently published in the journal Allergy and Clinical Immunology, researchers analyzed databases from California, Florida and Nebraska which included nearly 2,300 obese patients with asthma between the ages of 18 and 54 who had all had weight-loss surgery between 2007 and 2009.
The study’s lead author Dr. Kohei Hasegawa, an attending physician in the emergency department of the Massachusetts General Hospital located in Boston, was quoted in a US News report as having said that the study relied on weight-loss surgery as an “instrument of substantial weight loss,” but it didn’t have any specific information on the weights of patients before and after their surgeries were performed.
Researchers behind the study found that 22 percent of the patients analyzed had at least one emergency department visit or hospitalization as a result of asthma which occurred one to two years prior to their surgery and that this number was reduced to only 11 percent during the two years following their surgeries.
The researchers noted that the effect weight-loss surgery may have on better-controlled asthma is presently unknown, as their research only examined asthma symptoms severe enough to send someone to a hospital or an emergency department.
According to Dr. Hasegawa, the study is important because it attempts to derive conclusive data on whether a connection exists between the surgery and asthma where prior studies showed “no consistent effectiveness” with modest weight loss.
Findings of previous studies combined with the recent study’s findings “suggest substantial weight loss is needed to lower the asthma risk,” according to Hasegawa.
Previous studies with modest weight loss show no consistent effectiveness
Web MD indicated in a report that it’s important to take into account that this recent study was designed to find an association between weight-reduction surgery and fewer asthma flare-ups and that it can’t show that surgery or expected weight loss from weight reducing surgery actually caused the reduction in serious asthma symptoms.
In an unrelated study lead by epidemiologist Dr. Xiaoqin Liu at Denmark’s Aarhus University, maternal depression and older antidepressants were linked to childhood asthma. Newer antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) were not connected to an increased risk in asthma in children.