Asthma is chronic eosinophilic bronchitis with the dominancy of T helper 2 (Th2) inflammation. However, patients with asthma and metabolic dysfunction have pathogenic and pathological differences from those with Th2 inflammation. Metabolic dysfunction, typically presented as metabolic syndrome, has several important clinical components including central obesity, insulin resistance or glucose intolerance, dyslipidemia, and vitamin D deficiency. Data from large epidemiological studies support the significance of these components in the control of asthma and their contribution to airway remodeling, suggesting the presence of an asthma phenotype with metabolic dysfunction. These components are quite interactive with each other, so it is difficult to reveal the individual role of each. It is well known that asthma is difficult to treat in patients with obesity, due in part to inadequate response to inhaled corticosteroids. Additionally, vitamin D deficiency and insulin resistance have been regarded as aggravating factors of asthma control and airway remodeling. Recent clinical and in vivo studies have revealed the specific mechanisms of these components, which may aggravate asthma control and airway remodeling. In this review article, I summarize the recent studies and unmet needs for patients with asthma and metabolic dysfunction.
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