Bariatric surgery could cut asthma risks

16 March 2015

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have suggested that bariatric surgery can significantly reduce the risk of asthma attacks in obese people with the condition.

Their study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, is the first to find that significant weight loss can reduce the risk of serious asthma-associated events.

Dr Kohei Hasegawa, lead author of the study and from the hospital's department of emergency medicine, said the risk of hospitalisations for asthma attacks reduced by half in the two years after bariatric surgery.

"Although previous studies of non-surgical weight loss interventions failed to show consistent results regarding asthma risks, our result strongly suggests that the kind of significant weight loss that often results from bariatric surgery can reduce adverse asthma events," he added.

The current study was designed to investigate whether bariatric surgery, which is widely regarded as the most effective option for morbidly obese patients, might have an impact on asthma-associated risks.

Using available databases, the team found that around 22 per cent of the studied patients had at least one emergency visit or hospitalisation in each one-year period. In the two years after surgery, only 11 per cent went to hospital each year.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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