Published: Thu, November 29, 2018
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

Obesity May Be to Blame for Quarter of Asthma Cases in Children

Obesity May Be to Blame for Quarter of Asthma Cases in Children

Researchers from Duke University in the USA analysed health data for over 500,000 children in the United States and found that obesity might be to blame for about a quarter (23 to 27 per cent) of children with asthma. "It appears becoming overweight or obese as a child significantly increases your risk of developing asthma, and it's a significant increase, directing attention again to the importance of preventing obesity at an early age". They reported in the journal Pediatrics that 2.4 children of a healthy weight per 1,000 developed asthma each year, rising to 3.2 per 1,000 for...

Accordingly, the total of asthma among children has increased by 5-6% only because of obesity, making it one of the most important factors in the epidemic of asthma in recent years. Others suggest that breathlessness caused by weight is misdiagnosed as asthma.

Finkel and her colleagues made a decision to examine how obesity and the related changes in the body affect the development of asthma is not in adults and in children.

According to the findings, obese children had a 30% higher risk of developing asthma than their peers of a healthy weight.


The study wasn't a controlled experiment created to prove whether or how being overweight or obese might directly cause asthma, but the results offer some of the most compelling evidence to date suggesting that there is indeed a connection, said lead study author Dr. Jason Lang of Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina.

An estimated 23 percent to 27 percent of new asthma cases in children with obesity may be directly attributable to obesity, researchers calculated. Children who were overweight but not obese (BMI in the 85-94th percentile) also had a 17-per cent increased asthma risk compared to healthy-weight peers.

"I think it's reasonable to be concerned that it's a causal relationship", said Dr Jason Lang, associate professor of paediatrics at Duke and the study's lead author.

Obesity can also trigger the development of so-called cardiometabolic risk factors like high cholesterol and an inability to use the hormone insulin to contribute blood sugar into energy that may lead to impairment in the airway, Lang added. "Addressing childhood obesity should be a priority to help improve the quality of life of children and help reduce pediatric asthma".

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