The Impact of Insulin Resistance on Loss of Lung Function and Response to Treatment in Asthma

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Severe Asthma Research Program-3, Michael C. Peters, Mark L. Schiebler, Juan Carlos Cardet, Mats W. Johansson, Ronald Sorkness, Mark D. DeBoer, Eugene R. Bleecker, Deborah A. Meyers, Mario Castro, Kaharu Sumino, Serpil C. Erzurum, Matthew C. Tattersall, Joe G. Zein, Annette T. Hastie, Wendy Moore, Bruce D. Levy, Elliot Israel, Brenda R. Phillips, David T. MaugerSally E. Wenzel, Merritt L. Fajt, Suneil K. Koliwad, Loren C. Denlinger, Prescott G. Woodruff, Nizar N. Jarjour, John V. Fahy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Rationale: The role of obesity-associated insulin resistance (IR) in airflow limitation in asthma is uncertain. Objectives: Using data in the Severe Asthma Research Program 3 (SARP-3), we evaluated relationships between homeostatic measure of IR (HOMA-IR), lung function (cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses), and treatment responses to bronchodilators and corticosteroids. Methods: HOMA-IR values were categorized as without (<3.0), moderate (3.0-5.0), or severe (>5.0). Lung function included FEV1 and FVC measured before and after treatment with inhaled albuterol and intramuscular triamcinolone acetonide and yearly for 5 years. Measurements and Main Results: Among 307 participants in SARP-3, 170 (55%) were obese and 140 (46%) had IR. Compared with patients without IR, those with IR had significantly lower values for FEV1 and FVC, and these lower values were not attributable to obesity effects. Compared with patients without IR, those with IR had lower FEV1 responses to β-adrenergic agonists and systemic corticosteroids. The annualized decline in FEV1 was significantly greater in patients with moderate IR (-41 ml/year) and severe IR (-32 ml/year,) than in patients without IR (-13 ml/year, P < 0.001 for both comparisons). Conclusions: IR is common in asthma and is associated with lower lung function, accelerated loss of lung function, and suboptimal lung function responses to bronchodilator and corticosteroid treatments. Clinical trials in patients with asthma and IR are needed to determine if improving IR might also improve lung function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1096-1106
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 1 2022


  • asthma
  • insulin resistance
  • lung function
  • obesity


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