(HealthDay News) — As weight rises, so too does the risk for asthma, according to a March data brief published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

Lara Akinbami, MD, and Cheryl Fryar, MSPH, of the NCHS, used data from the 2001-2014 US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for the new report. The prevalence of asthma among all adults increased from 7.1% in 2001-2002 to 9.2% in 2013-2014. This increase was driven by greater asthma rates among overweight adults, not by increases among obese or normal-weight adults, the researchers said.

Among women, 14.6% of obese women were diagnosed with asthma, compared with 7.9% of normal-weight women and 9.1% of overweight women, the researchers found. The asthma rate did not differ significantly by weight for men. The rates of asthma were higher among all obese adults regardless of race or age, compared with normal-weight adults.

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“Why obese people are more likely to have asthma is unknown,” Dr Akinbami told HealthDay. “This study really confirms that obesity is a risk factor for asthma — they are very tightly linked.”


  1. Akinbami L, Fryar C. Current Asthma Prevalence by Weight Status Among Adults: United States, 2001–2014. NCHS data brief; no 239. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2016.