Do obese adults have a higher risk of asthma attack when exposed to indoor mold? A study based on the 2005 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.
Behavioral Surveillance Branch, National Center for Chronic Diseases/Division of Adult and Community Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Hwy., MS-K66, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA.
OBJECTIVE: Some studies show an association between asthma and obesity, but it is unknown whether exposure to mold will increase the risk of asthma attacks among obese people. This study examined whether obese adults have a higher risk of asthma attacks than non-obese adults when exposed to indoor mold. METHODS: We used data from the 2005 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to conduct a cross-sectional analysis among 9,668 respondents who reported exposure to indoor mold. RESULTS: With exposure to indoor mold, weighted prevalence of asthma attacks among obese respondents was 11.4% (95% confidence interval [CI] 6.0, 20.6], which was 2.3 times as high as among the exposed non-obese respondents (5.0%, 95% CI 2.8, 8.8). This ratio was almost the same as the ratio of 2.0:1 between the obese respondents (5.7%, 95% CI 4.6, 7.2) and the non-obese respondents (2.8%, 95% CI 2.3, 3.9) when neither group had exposure to mold. The odds ratio of asthma attack among obese people was 3.10 (95% CI 1.10, 8.67) for those with exposure to mold and 2.21 (95% CI 1.54, 3.17) for those without exposure to mold after adjusting for age, sex, race/ethnicity, and smoking status. CONCLUSION: Our study suggests that obese adults who have been exposed to indoor mold may not necessarily have a higher risk of asthma attack than obese adults who have not been exposed, even though obesity and exposure to indoor mold are both major risk factors for asthma attack. Medical professionals should not only incorporate weight-control or weight-reduction measures as the components of asthma treatment plans, but also advise asthma patients to avoid exposure to indoor mold.
PMID: 19445420 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID: PMC2663880 [Available on 2011/05/01]