Genetic Relationship Between Asthma, Hay Fever, BMI Examined

HealthDay News — There is a causal relationship between increasing BMI and asthma and decreased lung function, according to a study published online in Allergy.

Tea Skaaby, PhD, from the Center for Health in Denmark, and colleagues examined the causal effect of BMI on asthma, hay fever, and allergic sensitization. Data were included for 490,497 and 162,124 participants in observational and genetic analyses, respectively. Using 26 BMI-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms, the authors created a genetic risk score (GRS).

The researchers found that per BMI-increasing allele there was a significantly correlation for GRS with asthma (odds ratio [OR], 1.009; 95% CI, 1.004-1.013), but not with hay fever (OR, 0.998; 95% CI, 0.994-1.002) or with allergic sensitization (OR, 0.999; 95% CI, 0.986-1.012). There was a significant correlation for GRS with decrease in forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1; β = -0.0012; 95% CI, -0.0019 to -0.0006) and in forced vital capacity (β = -0.0022; 95% CI, -0.0031 to -0.0014) per BMI-increasing allele.

“The results support the conclusion that increasing BMI is causally related to higher prevalence of asthma and decreased lung function, but not with hay fever or biomarkers of allergy,” the authors write.

Disclosures: One institution was partially funded by a donation from the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

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Skaaby T, Taylor AE, Thuesen BH, et al. Estimating the causal effect of body mass index on hay fever, asthma and lung function using Mendelian randomization [published online August 2, 2017]. Allergy. doi:10.1111/all.13242