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Association between elevated serum triglycerides and asthma in patients with obesity: An explorative study

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Adults with a high body mass index (BMI) have an increased risk of developing asthma. To explore the impact of increased lipids on the presence of asthma, this study investigated the relationship between lipid levels and inflammatory markers in patients with asthma and controls with obesity.


We hypothesized that higher lipid levels are more prevalent in patients with obesity and asthma.


In this explorative cohort study, 96 patients with asthma and 45 controls were included. All the patients participated in one of three asthma studies; two of these studies included only patients with obesity. An asthma diagnosis was defined by the presence of typical clinical symptoms, reversible airway obstruction (+12% improvement in forced expiratory volume in the first second of expiration after bronchodilator), or bronchial hyperreactivity (Histamine PC20 < 8 mg/mL), or a fractional exhaled nitric oxide of > 50 ppb. We compared lipid levels and neutrophils and eosinophils in patients with asthma and the controls with a wide BMI range (17.8‐63.8 kg/m2). Multivariable logistic regression was used to analyze the data.


Serum triglycerides were statistically significantly higher in patients with obesity and asthma adjusted for BMI, blood eosinophils, and statin use (odds ratio [OR] 2.56 [95% confidence interval, 1.34‐4.88]; p = 0.004). Inclusion or exclusion of those who used long-acting β2-agonists and inhaled corticosteroids led to comparable adjusted ORs for blood triglyceride and blood eosinophils levels.


Elevated serum triglycerides were associated with the presence of asthma in patients with obesity. This indicated that elevated triglycerides might be a yet unrecognized trait that contributed to the development of asthma. The precise cause and effect of these high triglyceride levels in the patients with asthma and with obesity were not determined in this study.

Clinical trial Trial registration NCT03278561,; NL4262, NL3056,
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Keywords: asthma; asthma management; lipid levels; lung disease; obesity; obstructive; treatable trait; triglycerides

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: From the Department of Pulmonology, Franciscus Gasthuis en Vlietland, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; 2: Department of Pulmonology, Northwest Hospital Group, Alkmaar, the Netherlands; 3: Department of Statistics and Education, Franciscus Gasthuis en Vlietland, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; 4: Department of Pediatrics, Franciscus Gasthuis en Vlietland, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Publication date: May 1, 2021

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma and by having the potential to directly impact the quality of patient care. AAP welcomes the submission of original works including peer-reviewed original research and clinical trial results. Additionally, as the official journal of the Eastern Allergy Conference (EAC), AAP will publish content from EAC poster sessions as well as review articles derived from EAC lectures.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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