Body mass index is associated with leukotriene inflammation in asthmatics


Stelios Loukides, Smolika 2 16673, Athens, Greece. Tel.: +30 6944380549; fax: +30 210770423; e-mail:


Eur J Clin Invest 2010; 41 (1): 30–38


Background  Obesity and asthma are characterized by the presence of inflammation. Leptin and adiponectin are circulating hormones produced by adipose tissue that regulate several metabolic and inflammatory functions. We aimed to determine whether obesity influences asthmatic inflammation as well as the contribution of leptin or/and adiponectin to a possible linkage between asthmatic and obesity-related inflammation.

Materials and methods  One hundred patients with asthma and 60 healthy controls were studied. Subjects who had a comorbid illness that could interfere with the proposed tests were excluded. All subjects were divided into three groups (normal range, pre-obese, obese) according to the criteria of the current WHO international classification for body mass index (BMI). Possible associations between variables expressing airway inflammation, bronchial hyper-responsiveness, systemic inflammation and obesity, as assessed by BMI, were evaluated. Leptin and adiponectin were also measured and were associated with asthma airway and systemic inflammatory variables to elucidate possible associations.

Results  Obese patients had significant higher values of LTE4/creatinine in urine compared with pre-obese and normal range ones. In a linear regression model, the only significant associations were those between BMI and LTE4/creatinine in urine. Using the same model, log leptin and log adiponectin presented positive and negative associations, respectively with LTE4/creatinine in urine. No other significant associations were observed in both patients and healthy subjects.

Conclusions  In a selected cohort of asthmatic patients, obesity is significantly associated with increased urinary leukotriene levels. Alterations of leptin/adiponectin balance may be related to the presence of leukotriene inflammation in obese asthmatic patients.