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Higher Prevalence of Obesity Among Children With Asthma



According to an article published in Obesity (2012;20:1041-1047), a study was performed to investigate the association between childhood obesity and asthma, and whether this relationship varies by race and/or ethnicity.


For this population-based, cross-sectional study, measured weight and height, and asthma diagnoses were extracted from electronic medical records of 681,122 patients aged 6-19 years who were enrolled in an integrated health plan 2007-2009. Weight class was assigned based on BMI-for-age.


Results showed that overall, 18.4% of youth had a history of asthma and 10.9% had current asthma. Adjusted odds of current asthma for overweight, moderately obese, and extremely obese youth relative to those of normal weight were 1.22, 1.37 and 1.68, respectively (P trend < 0.001). Black youth are nearly twice as likely (1.93), and Hispanic youth are 25% less likely (0.75), to have current asthma than to non-Hispanic white youth. However, the relationship between BMI and asthma was strongest in Hispanic and weakest in black youth. Among youth with asthma, increasing body mass was associated with more frequent ambulatory and emergency department visits, as well as increased inhaled and oral corticosteroid use.


According to the authors, overweight, moderate, and extreme obesity are associated with higher odds of asthma in children and adolescents, although the association varies widely with race/ethnicity, and that increasing BMI among youth with asthma is associated with higher consumption of corticosteroids and emergency department visits.


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