Although the association between obesity and asthma has been well documented, the nature of this association has yet to be clarified. The aim of this study was to examine the association of body mass index (BMI), lipid profiles, and atopy, wheezing, and lung function in older adults living in a rural area in Korea. BMI (kg/m2), lipid profiles, skin prick test, spirometry, and questionnaire including airway symptoms were obtained in a cross-sectional survey in 707 (259 males and 448 females) older adults (aged 50 to 93; mean, 65.7 yr) living in a high-altitude rural area in Korea. The prevalence of self-reported wheezing was 17.1% (121/707). The prevalence of atopy was 13.8%. The mean of BMI was 23.3+/-0.13 (14.6-32.8). The BMI was higher in females than in males (23.8+/-0.16 vs 22.4+/-0.17; p<0.01). The prevalence of wheezing was higher in group with BMI> or =25 than in group with BMI<25 [57/201 (28.3%) vs 64/505 (12.6%), p<0.01]. The BMI was higher in group with wheezing than in group without wheezing (24.3+/-0.34 vs 23.1+/-0.13, p<0.01). No association between BMI and atopy was found. These findings suggest that BMI associated with wheezing in older adults
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