Fat mass index and airway hyperresponsiveness in Korean adults

Ji Su Shim, Sun Sin Kim, So Hee Lee, Min Hye Kim, Young Joo Cho, Heung Woo Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) is associated with asthma and obesity, which is defined as a high body mass index. Body mass mainly comprises fat mass (FM) and muscle mass (MM), which are independent of each other. We investigated the effect of changes in FM over time on the development of asymptomatic AHR in adults. Methods: This long-term longitudinal study included adults who were underwent health checkups at the Seoul National University Hospital Gangnam Center. The participants underwent two methacholine bronchial provocation tests with a follow-up period (between the first and second tests) of more than 3 years and bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) at all visits. FM index (FMI; FM normalized for height) and MM index (MMI; MM normalized for height) were calculated using BIA. Results: The study included 328 adult participants (61 women and 267 men). The mean number of BIA measurements was 6.96 and the follow-up duration was 6.69 years. In total, 13 participants showed a positive conversion of AHR. Multivariate analysis indicated that a high rate of change in FMI ([g/m2]/year), not MMI, was significantly associated with the risk of AHR development (P = 0.037) after adjustment for age, sex, smoking status, and FEV1 predicted. Conclusion: A rapid gain of FM over time may be a risk factor for developing AHR in adults. Prospective studies are needed to confirm our results and evaluate the role of FM reduction in preventing AHR development in obese adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)480-485
Number of pages6
JournalPostgraduate Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the New Faculty Startup Fund from Seoul National University (No. 800-20200260) to Heung-Woo Park.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Asthma
  • airway hyperresponsiveness
  • body composition
  • fat mass
  • muscle mass
  • obesity


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