WOMEN with high levels of an inflammatory protein produced by fat tissue are at significantly increased risk of asthma, new research shows.
The findings published in specialist journal Thorax are based on a study of 5,876 adults.
Researchers measured the levels of leptin, an inflammatory protein produced by fatty tissue in the body.
The levels were significantly higher among those who had been diagnosed with asthma than those who had never had the respiratory disease.
The association between leptin and asthma appeared to be stronger in women than in men, and stronger in women who had not yet gone through the menopause.
The authors said that, though there is a link between body mass index and asthma, leptin may have an independent role in increasing the risk for the disease.