Insulin resistance is a possible factor contributing to the asthma–obesity relationship and the effect is independent of other components of the metabolic syndrome such as hypertriglyceridemia, hypertension, hyperglycemia, and systemic inflammation. Obesity has important effects on airway geometry, by especially reducing expiratory reserve volume causing obese asthmatics to breathe at low lung volumes. Furthermore, obesity affects the type of inflammation in asthma and is associated with reduced inhaled corticosteroids treatment responsiveness.
Obesity induces the development of asthma with a difficult-to-control phenotype. Treatment targeting insulin resistance may be beneficial in obese asthma patients, especially when they have concomitant diabetes. Systemic corticosteroids should be avoided as much as possible as they are not very effective in obese asthma and associated with side-effects like diabetes, weight gain, and osteoporosis.