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Asthma linked to women with large waistlines

26th August 2009

Asthma may be linked to a larger waistline in women, despite normal body weight, a study has shown.

While being overweight is known to raise the risk of asthma, experts have found abdominal fat also plays a role.

Women with a waist bigger than 88 cm (35 in) have a higher risk of developing asthma, says a study from the Northern California Cancer Center at Berkeley.

The research appears in the latest edition of the journal Thorax. Researchers analysed data from 88,304 female teachers and school administrators.

Results showed overweight women were 40 per cent more likely to have asthma than women of a normal weight. Surprisingly, the researchers also found women of normal body weight, but with a waist circumference of more than 88cm were also at increased risk – around a third higher than those with a smaller waist.

Researchers working on the study stated: “This study confirms the association between excess weight and asthma severity and prevalence, and showed that a large waist was associated with increased asthma prevalence even among women considered to have normal body weight.”

Around 5.4 million people in the UK have asthma.

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