Nav: Home

Obesity strongly associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in never-smokers

November 21, 2018

Toronto, ON - "Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is much more common among never smoking older women who are morbidly obese (having a body mass index of 40 or higher) than among their female peers in the normal weight range (13.4% vs 3.5%, respectively). Morbidly obese older men who have never smoked also had a much higher prevalence of COPD than never-smoking men who were normal weight (7.6% vs 2.5%)" reported lead author Professor Esme Fuller-Thomson, Sandra Rotman Endowed Chair at University of Toronto's Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work and Department of Family & Community and Director of the Institute for Life Course & Aging.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is the third leading cause of death in the USA. COPD is a group of progressive lung disorders that make breathing difficult, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. The best-known risk factor for COPD is smoking, but one-quarter of COPD patients have never smoked.

"Surprisingly few studies have focused on never smoking COPD patients" stated co-author Senyo Agbeyaka, a recent graduate of the University of Toronto's Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work "We wanted to address this gap in the literature by examining which factors are associated with COPD among never smokers aged 50 and older."

"In addition to obesity, older age and lower income were associated with COPD among both men and women. Among women, but not men, height and education level were negatively associated with COPD, but being married was associated with higher odds of COPD." reported co-author Lilia Fuller-Thomson.

The study was based on a nationally representative sample of non-Hispanic white respondents aged 50 and older who reported that they had never smoked. The data were drawn from the 2012 Center for Disease Control's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. The final sample included more than 110,000 respondents of whom approximately 4,000 were morbidly obese and 5,000 reported that they had been diagnosed by a health professional with COPD. The article was published this week in the Journal of Obesity.

"Unfortunately, the survey did not allow us to identify why older obese Americans who were never smokers had such a high prevalence of COPD. Future research is needed to investigate plausible mechanisms for this association, including the role of chronic inflammation associated with obesity and the impact of central obesity on respiratory system mechanics" stated co-author Kaitlyn Howden, an MD candidate at McMaster University.

"These findings highlight the importance of health care professionals routinely screening their older obese patients for COPD, even when the patients have no history of smoking" suggested Professor. Esme Fuller-Thomson.
-end-
For more please information, please contact:

Prof. Esme Fuller-Thomson
Professor & Sandra Rotman Endowed Chair
Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work &
Department of Family & Community Medicine,
University of Toronto
Cell: 416-209-3231
Email: esme.fuller.thomson@utoronto.ca

Source Article:

Fuller-Thomson, E., Howden, K. E.N., Fuller-Thomson, L.R., Agbeyaka, S. (2018).

A strong graded relationship between level of obesity & COPD: Findings from a national population-based study of lifelong non-smokers. Journal of Obesity. This open-access article is available at https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jobe/2018/6149263/

University of Toronto

Related Obesity Articles:

Obesity is in the eye of the beholder
Doctors have a specific definition of what it means to be overweight or obese, but in the social world, gender, race and generation matter a lot for whether people are judged as 'thin enough' or 'too fat.'
Type 2 diabetes and obesity -- what do we really know?
Social and economic factors have led to a dramatic rise in type 2 diabetes and obesity around the world.
Three in 4 don't know obesity causes cancer
Three out of four (75 percent) people in the UK are unaware of the link between obesity and cancer, according to a new Cancer Research UK report published today.
Obesity on the rise in Indonesia
Obesity is on the rise in Indonesia, one of the largest studies of the double burden of malnutrition in children has revealed.
Obesity rates are not declining in US youth
A clear and significant increase in obesity continued from 1999 through 2014, according to an analysis of data on United States children and adolescents age 2 to 19 years.
How does the environment affect obesity?
Researchers will be examining how agricultural and food processing practices may affect brown fat activity directly or indirectly.
Obesity Day to highlight growing obesity epidemic in Europe
The growing obesity epidemic, which is predicted to affect more than half of all European citizens by 2030, will be the focus of European Obesity Day to be held on May 21.
Understanding obesity from the inside out
Researchers developed a new laboratory method that allowed them to identify GABA as a key player in the complex brain processes that control appetite and metabolism.
Epigenetic switch for obesity
Obesity can sometimes be shut down.
Immunological Aspects of Obesity
This FASEB Conference focuses on the interactions between obesity and immune cells, focusing in particular on how inflammation in various organs influences obesity and obesity-related complications.

Related Obesity Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Setbacks
Failure can feel lonely and final. But can we learn from failure, even reframe it, to feel more like a temporary setback? This hour, TED speakers on changing a crushing defeat into a stepping stone. Guests include entrepreneur Leticia Gasca, psychology professor Alison Ledgerwood, astronomer Phil Plait, former professional athlete Charly Haversat, and UPS training manager Jon Bowers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#524 The Human Network
What does a network of humans look like and how does it work? How does information spread? How do decisions and opinions spread? What gets distorted as it moves through the network and why? This week we dig into the ins and outs of human networks with Matthew Jackson, Professor of Economics at Stanford University and author of the book "The Human Network: How Your Social Position Determines Your Power, Beliefs, and Behaviours".