Obese people can have dangerous amounts of fat in their lungs, according to research.
Scientists from the University of Western Australia analyzed lung samples taken from 52 post-mortem people.
They discovered that the amount of fat in the vital organ was increasing along with the BMI of the deceased.
Scientists warn that fatty tissues can "take up space" in the airways, causing them to shrink. This could also trigger inflammation, a tell-tale sign of asthma.
Asthma is known to be more common among obese people, with 16 of the participants dying from the disease.
"Overweight or obesity has already been associated with asthma or more severe asthma symptoms," said Dr. Peter Noble, author of the study.
Experts have attributed this to the increased pressure on the lungs, as well as obese people with higher levels of inflammation in their bodies in general.
"This study suggests that another mechanism is also at play," said Dr. Noble. "We found that excess fat accumulates in the walls of the airways, where it takes up space and appears to increase inflammation in the lungs.
"We think this causes a thickening of the airways that restricts the flow of air into and out of the lungs, which could at least partly explain an increase in asthma symptoms."
How many people are obsessed?
In England alone, 29% of adults are obese, according to NHS Digital statistics.
And in the United States, 39.8% of Americans were dangerously overweight in 2015/16, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Obesity has been associated with various factors, from type 2 diabetes to heart disease, depression and even some cancers.
It is also associated with the onset of asthma, more severe symptoms and poor control of the disease.
In the UK, some 5.4 million people are being treated for asthma, and three people die each day from the same disease, according to British statistics on asthma.
In the United States, 19.2 million adults and 5.5 million children experience wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughing, according to the CDC.
To better understand the link between obesity and asthma, scientists analyzed nearly 1,400 lung tissue samples that had been donated for research. The BMIs of the deceased were underweight and overweight.
Sixteen died of asthma, while 21 had an inflammatory lung disease, but died of another cause. The remaining 15 had not been diagnosed with the disease.
The results, published in the European Respiratory Journal, showed that those with higher BMI had higher levels of adipose tissue in the airways.
They also had more neutrophils and eosinophils. These fight infections and are associated with inflammation.
It is not clear if losing weight could reverse the damage.
Professor Thierry Troosters, president of the European Society of Respiratory, said: "This is an important finding on the relationship between body weight and respiratory disease because it shows that the" "is the most important factor. overweight or obesity could worsen the symptoms of people with asthma.
"We need to study this discovery in more detail and especially if this phenomenon can be reversed with weight loss.
"In the meantime, we should help asthma patients achieve or maintain a healthy weight."
Obesity is rising worldwide, an expert welcomed the study "of major importance", but added that additional research was needed.
"Given the growing incidence of obesity at the national and global levels, the study could be of paramount importance to help us understand why asthma remains a problem of major health and to identify new ways to improve the treatment of asthma, "said Dr. Elizabeth Sapey, Respiratory Medicine Consultant at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, say it BBC.
"This is however only a small study and we need to evaluate this in larger patient groups and in other lung diseases."
-This article was published for the first time on Yahoo