Obesity is a major risk factor for the development of asthma, and causes severe, uncontrolled disease that responds poorly to therapy. The obese state alters early onset allergic asthma, and leads to the development of a novel form of late onset asthma secondary to obesity. The presentation of early onset allergic asthma is altered through effects on immune function. Factors such as mechanical loading, effects of adipokines on airways, altered diet, insulin resistance and altered metabolism of nitric oxide likely all contribute to increased airway reactivity in obesity, causing late onset asthma in obesity. Obesity also alters responses to environmental factors such as ozone and particulate matter. Focused studies to understand the importance of these factors in the pathogenesis of airway disease in obesity will be essential to develop therapies to intervene in this new epidemic of airway disease. J. Cell. Biochem. 115: 421–426, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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