fatty tissue 2

For The First Time, Scientists Find Fat Can Clog Lungs And Airways, Not Just Your Heart

Many of you will be aware of how fatty build-ups in the arteries can increase the chances of developing heart problems, but now scientists have found early evidence the same sort of clogging could happen in the lungs – and it might be linked to ast

Many of you will be aware of how fatty build-ups in the arteries can increase the chances of developing heart problems, but now scientists have found early evidence the same sort of clogging could happen in the lungs – and it might be linked to asthma.

 

It’s already known that people who are overweight have a higher risk of asthma. Before now it was thought the connection could be caused by extra pressure on the lungs, or additional inflammation in the body. Now there’s evidence fatty deposits may play a part, too.

Using material collected from an earlier study, the researchers looked at lung tissue samples from 52 deceased people: 15 with no reported asthma, 21 with reported asthma but who died of something else, and 16 who died of asthma itself.

Sample micrographs showing adipose cells (fat). (European Respiratory Journal)

With the help of dyes to highlight the airway structures, almost 1,400 samples were analysed.

What they found was surprising – accumulated fat (adipose cells) in the airway walls.

What’s more, the level of fatty tissue correlated with the body mass index (or BMI) of the individual – more weight meant more fat.

"We’ve found that excess fat accumulates in the airway walls where it takes up space and seems to increase inflammation within the lungs," says physiologist Peter Noble, from the University of Western Australia.

 

"We think this is causing a thickening of the airways that limits the flow of air…

Access the full article

More Stories
Wearable sensor detects what your sweat is saying