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News in Brief June 10th, 2014

Is There a Link Between Obesity and Asthma? Kim SH, Sutherland ER, Gelfand EW. Allergy Asthma Immunol Res. 2014 May;6(3):189-195. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4021235/

Obesity is known to greatly increase the risk of developing asthma (it increases the prevalence 2.3-fold). It is also significantly associated with the severity of asthma and patients’ response to treatment. Adipokines are thought to contribute to the pathogenic process by regulating the survival and the recruitment of oesinophils and their accumulation in the peribronchial tissues. Changes in the process of  phagocytosis by macrophages and immunological changes in the adipous tissues may also play an important role.    



The effects of non-surgical weight loss interventions on urinary incontinence in overweight women: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Vissers D, Neels H, Vermandel A, De Wachter S, Tjalma WA, Wyndaele JJ, Taeymans J.  Obes Rev. 2014 Apr 22. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/obr.12170/abstract;jsessionid=002E07165D5C59CF247531F2993F9CB0.f04t01


In this meta-analysis of 6 studies (including 2352 subjets), the authors conclude that even a fairly slight weight loss (5 to 10%) suffices to improve overweight women’s urinary  incontinence by decreasing the number of episodes. Obesity and the resulting accumulation of abdominal fat are thought to weigh on the pelvic floor, thus favouring urinary incontinence. Insulin resistance and the inflammation of the adipous tissues may also be involved.   


Weight loss intervention trials on women with breast cancer: a systematic review. Reeves MM, Terranova CO, Eakin EG, Demark-Wahnefried W. Obes Rev. 2014 May 29. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/obr.12190/abstract


Obesity has been associated with a poor prognosis (low chances of survival) in women treated for breast cancer. In this review of 14 clinical trials, it is concluded that weight loss interventions are perfectly safe and entail no side-effects in women under treatment, whereas they have beneficial effects on these women’s quality of life and reduce the side-effects of their treatment. 



Chronic stress increases vulnerability to diet-related abdominal fat, oxidative stress, and metabolic risk. Aschbacher K, Kornfeld S, Picard M, Puterman E, Havel PJ, Stanhope K, Lustig RH, Epel E. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2014 Aug;46:14-22. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S030645301400122X


It was established at last in this study on post-menopausal women that those suffering from chronic stress are more vulnerable to the detrimental effects of high-fat, high-sugar diets. These women accumulate abdominal fat more easily and run higher risks due to metabolic factors such as insulin resistance and an increased waist circumference. Neuropeptide Y also seems to be involved in this process.   




Metabolic mediators of the effects of body-mass index, overweight, and obesity on coronary heart disease and stroke: a pooled analysis of 97 prospective cohorts with 1•8 million participants. Global Burden of Metabolic Risk Factors for Chronic Diseases (BMI Mediated Effects). Lu Y, Hajifathalian K, Ezzati M, Woodward M, Rimm EB, Danaei G. Lancet. 2014 Mar 15;383(9921):970-83. http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(13)61836-X/abstract


The findings obtained in the 97 prospective studies reviewed here suggest that half of the risk of coronary disease and three-quarters of the risk of stroke associated with a high body mass index are due to the following three main risk factors: high blood pressure and high cholesterol and  glucose levels.


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