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Study: Obesity, Asthma Genetically Linked

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File photo of an inhaler. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

File photo of an inhaler. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

CBS Connecticut (con't)

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Health News & Information: CBSConnecticut.com/Health

BUFFALO, N.Y. (CBS Connecticut) – A recent study has found a genetic connection between asthma and obesity.

According to the University of Buffalo Reporter, researchers at the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences – led by professor and endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism chief Paresh Dandona – found numerous biological connections between the two afflictions.

Dandona added to the paper, “Our findings point the way to the management of asthma in the obese through simple weight reduction.”

For the study, scientists called upon two previously conducted pieces of research – an experiment examining the effects of weight loss through gastric bypass surgery on obese persons in regards to genetic activity related to asthma, and a comparative study that focused on the differences between those who are obese and those who are of normal weights.

Through their analysis, researchers were said to have observed heightened genetic activity in genes tied to asthma-induced chronic inflammation in heavier participants in the study. This activity resulted in the increased production of white blood cells that contribute to allergic inflammation, the Reporter found.

When the team incorporated the second experiment into their scope of consideration, they found that those genetic activity levels decreased during weight loss following the gastric bypass surgery.

“Ours is the first study to provide a mechanistic link between obesity and asthma through biological [and] immunological mechanisms,” Dandona was quoted as saying. “There has been, until now, no biological, mechanistic explanation other than the fact that obesity may raise the diaphragm and thus reduce lung volumes.”

The study was published online in the journal Obesity, the paper learned.

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