Asthma is a disease affecting people of all races ages and gender. People with asthma experience recurrent episodes of cough, chest tightness or shortness of breath, which may limit daily activities. In the past few decades, research has shown that people who are overweight or obese are more likely to have asthma as well as have severe symptoms. This review sought to find out if weight loss interventions in overweight or obese patients with asthma, improve asthma control, as well as achieved weight loss.
We included four studies made up of a total of 197 participants from four countries (Brazil, Finland, Mexico and Australia) in the review. Interventions included low energy diets, anti-obesity drugs and physical activity, either singly or in combination. Studies had a high risk of bias and results show that weight loss interventions produced weight loss in treatment compared to control groups. Weight loss was also associated with improvement in symptoms, reduction in need for reliever medication in the short term and some improvement in lung function. There was inadequate data to comment on the effect of the intervention on quality of life, health care utilization and adverse effects.
Better designed and reported studies are needed, especially in children and in resource constrained countries such as Africa, where the prepackaged, low energy diets, as well as structured physical activity-based interventions utilized in these included studies, may not be feasible or applicable.