The impact of bariatric surgery on asthma control differs among obese individuals with reported prior or current asthma, with or without metabolic syndrome

Erick Forno, Peng Zhang, Mehdi Nouraie, Anita Courcoulas, James E. Mitchell, Bruce Wolfe, Gladys Strain, Saurabh Khandelwal, Fernando Holguin

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Background Both obesity and the metabolic syndrome have been independently associated with increased asthma morbidity. However, it is unclear whether metabolic syndrome limits the beneficial effects of weight loss on asthma. Objectives To evaluate whether bariatric weight loss is associated with improved asthma control, and whether this association varies by metabolic syndrome status. Methods We determined the changes in asthma control, defined by the Asthma Control Test (ACT), before and after bariatric surgery among participants with asthma in the multi-center Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery (LABS) study, stratifying our analysis by the presence or absence of metabolic syndrome. Results Among 2,458 LABS participants, 555 participants had an asthma diagnosis and were included in our analysis. Of these, 78% (n = 433) met criteria for metabolic syndrome (MetSyn) at baseline. In patients without MetSyn, mean ACT increased from 20.4 at baseline to 22.1 by 12–24 months, ending at 21.3 at 60 months. In contrast, among those with MetSyn there was no significant improvement in ACT scores. The proportion of patients without MetSyn with adequate asthma control (ACT >19) increased from 58% at baseline to 78% and 82% at 12 and 60 months, respectively, whereas among those with MetSyn, it was 73.8% at baseline, 77.1% at 12 months, dropping to 47.1% at 60 months (p = 0.004 for interaction between metabolic syndrome and time). Having MetSyn also increased the likelihood of losing asthma control during follow-up (HR = 1.92, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.24–2.97, p = 0.003). Conclusions Metabolic syndrome may negatively modify the effect of bariatric surgery-induced weight loss on asthma control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0214730
JournalPloS one
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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