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Journal of Allergy
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 602908, 8 pages
Review Article

The Asthma Phenotype in the Obese: Distinct or Otherwise?

North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, Division of Allergy and Immunology, 865 Northern Bouelvard Suite 101, Great Neck, NY 11021, USA

Received 12 February 2013; Accepted 9 May 2013

Academic Editor: Anurag Agrawal

Copyright © 2013 Sherry Farzan. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Asthma is a heterogenous disorder that can be classified into several different phenotypes. Recent cluster analyses have identified an “obese-asthma” phenotype which is characterized by late onset, female predominance and lack of atopy. In addition, obesity among early-onset asthmatics clearly exists and heightens the clinical presentation. Observational studies have demonstrated that asthma among the obese has a clinical presentation that is more severe, harder to control, and is not as responsive to standard controller therapies. While weight loss studies have demonstrated improvement in asthma outcomes, further studies need to be performed. The current knowledge of the existence of two obesity-asthma phenotypes (early- versus late-onset asthma) should encourage investigators to study these entities separately since just as they have distinct presentations, their course, response to therapies, and weight loss strategies may be different as well.