Weight loss interventions for chronic asthma.Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Jul 11CD
Asthma and obesity are both public health problems with increasing prevalence globally. Several epidemiological studies have shown an association between asthma and obesity, however there is no good quality evidence on the effect of weight loss on asthma control.
To assess the effect of various interventions for weight loss on measures of asthma control and weight loss amongst overweight or obese patients with chronic asthma.
We searched the Cochrane Airways Group's Specialized Register of Trials (CAGR) (derived from systematic searches of bibliographic databases, including the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library), MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, AMED and PsycINFO, and handsearching of respiratory journals and meeting abstracts). We also searched ongoing trials web sites and dissertation databases up to March 2012. We contacted experts in the field and searched reference lists for additional studies.
We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of weight loss interventions for overweight or obese participants with asthma compared to either no intervention for weight loss or an alternative weight loss intervention.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS
Two authors independently assessed study eligibility and risk of bias, and extracted data using a data extraction form. We did not undertake any meta-analysis as there were no suitable data to combine.
We included four completed studies conducted amongst adults (n = 197). Two were published as abstracts, and two as full articles. Interventions included supervised physical activity, low calorie diet and anti-obesity drugs (singly or in combination), and were compared to usual care (two studies), low calorie diet (one study), while one study had three intervention arms (physical activity versus low calorie diet versus a combination of the two). Two studies were conducted in high-income countries, while two were conducted in upper, middle-income countries.All studies had an unclear risk of selection and a high risk of detection bias. One of the studies found a statistically significant reduction in symptoms scores in treatment compared to control groups: the difference between groups in total St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) score was -10 units (95% CI -18 to-1; P = 0.02). One study showed reduction in doses of rescue medication in treatment compared with control groups in the short term. Weight loss was associated with some improvement in forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) and forced vital capacity (FVC) in one study, which was statistically significant, but clinically unimportant; there was no improvement in peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR). No data were reported on health care utilization and adverse effects. One study reported statistically significant weight loss in the treatment group compared to controls with no intervention, which was still significant at one year follow-up.