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This cross-sectional study demonstrated a positive association between the prevalence of asthma and results for the Metabolic Score for Visceral Fat index; however, the relationship is non-linear. There is a negative correlation trend between the prevalence of asthma and the METS-VF index of less than 5.24.

The Metabolic Score for Visceral Fat (METS-VF) estimation tool is a better measure of visceral adipose tissue (VAT) compared to the body mass index (BMI). Visceral fat distribution tends to be related to the development of asthma; however, the association between asthma and METS-VF score is not established. 

The current study assessed the relationship between asthma and METS-VF by analyzing previously available survey data. The study demonstrated that METS-VF was positively correlated with asthma. This correlation is non-linear, and the study participants with > 5.24 METS-VF are advised to remain cautious regarding the high risk of asthma. The study’s findings are published in the journal Frontiers in Endocrinology.

Baseline Characteristics of Study Participants

Of the total 36,876 participants in this study, 4919 were asthmatics and 31,957 were non-asthmatics. The asthmatics were predominantly female and had a lower median age. A higher METS-VF was recorded in asthmatic patients.

Positive Association Between METS-VF and Asthma Prevalence

According to the study results, METS-VF was positively associated with the prevalence of asthma across all models, and the association remained stable following adjustment for all covariates. The analysis of the data suggested a significant non-linear relationship between the prevalence of asthma and METS-VF. The study also suggested a negative association between asthma prevalence and METS-VF when METS-VF < 5.24; however, this was not statistically significant. As METS-VF exceeded 5.24, stable positive correlations were observed between the prevalence of asthma and METS-VF.

Subgroup Analysis of Survey Data

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Subgroup analysis of the survey data demonstrated a stable positive association between the prevalence of asthma and METS-VF across all populations. The population characteristics that were more significant were male, Mexican-American, hypertensive, without a family history of asthma, diabetes mellitus, and age 40 to 59 years.

The study concluded that the increase in the prevalence of asthma was associated with an increase in the METS-VF index. The study recommended that obesity treatment and management at an early age may ameliorate asthma onset.


Liu, Q., Han, X., Chen, Y., Gao, Y., Yang, W., & Huang, L. (2023). Asthma prevalence is increased in patients with high metabolism scores for visceral fat: study reports from the US. Frontiers in endocrinology, 14, 1162158. https://doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2023.1162158