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Inactivity, Obesity Factors in Adult Asthmatics Higher Health Care Use

Asthma • • ObesityJun 10, 09

Health care use is higher in adult asthmatic patients when compared with non-asthmatic patients, and inactivity and obesity are contributing to this increase, according to a report published this month in Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the scientific journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).

Shilpa Dogra, MSc, of the Lifespan Health and Performance Laboratory at York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and colleagues, also found that overnight hospital stays were more common in inactive asthmatic patients regardless of body mass index (BMI), whereas both BMI and physical activity were important determinants of physician consultations.

Investigators analyzed self-reported data of an adult population of 6,835 with asthma and 78,051 without asthma from the 2005 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), a nationally representative population-based cross-sectional survey. Their findings include:

• Patients with asthma were 2.25 times more likely to have an overnight hospital stay, 1.48 times more likely to have four or more overnight hospital stays, and 2.43 times more likely to have three or more physician consultations compared with patients without asthma.

• Inactive patients with asthma were 1.68 times more likely to have an overnight hospital stay and 1.23 times more likely to have three or more physician consultations than active patients with asthma.

• Inactive/obese patients with asthma were 2.35 times more likely to have an overnight hospital stay and 2.76 times more likely to have three or more physician consultations than active/normal weight patients with asthma.

“The most important thing to take from this study is that asthmatics, whether obese or normal weight, can benefit greatly from adopting and maintaining an active lifestyle,” said Ms. Dogra. “Health care professionals working with asthmatics should inform their patients of the benefits of an active lifestyle, and the various ways in which they can overcome asthma specific barriers to physical activity, such as exercise-induced asthma. Higher activity levels not only help the individual with asthma, but also have the potential to relieve some of the burden being placed on the healthcare system.”

Patient information on asthma and other allergic diseases is available by calling the ACAAI toll free number at (800) 842-7777 or visiting its Web site at http://www.acaai.org.

The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) is a professional medical organization headquartered in Arlington Heights, Ill., that promotes excellence in the practice of the subspecialty of allergy and immunology. The College, comprising more than 5,000 allergists-immunologists and related health care professionals, fosters a culture of collaboration and congeniality in which its members work together and with others toward the common goals of patient care, education, advocacy and research.

Citation: Dogra S, Baker J, Ardern CI. The role of physician activity and body mass index in the health care use of adults with asthma. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2009;102:462-868.

Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology is online at http://www.annallergy.org.

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