Researchers have found that fatty tissues accumulate in the airway walls, particularly in people who are overweight or obese. The study, published in the European Respiratory Journal, suggested that the fatty tissue alters the structure of people's airways and this could be one reason behind the increased risk of asthma.
"Our research team studies the structure of the airways within our lungs and how these are altered in people with respiratory disease," said the study's author John Elliot from Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Australia.
Using dyes to help
visualize the structures of 1373 airways under a microscope, they identified
and quantified any fatty tissue present. They compared this data with each
person's body mass index (BMI). The study showed that
fatty tissue accumulates in the walls of the airways. The analysis revealed
that the amount of fat present increases in line with increasing BMI.
"We've found that excess fat accumulates in the airway walls where it
takes up space and seems to increase inflammation within the lungs".