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The association between overweight and respiratory symptoms in schoolchildren
Published in
2006
Volume: 19
   
Issue: 1
Pages: 19 - 25
Abstract
The prevalence of both asthma and obesity is increasing worldwide and this has led researchers to speculate that being overweight and obesity might be a causal factor in the development of asthma. Studies found obesity to be associated with asthma diagnosis, respiratory symptoms, and airway hyperresponsiveness. Data on the association between being overweight and asthma in children are lacking. The objectives of the present study are to investigate the relationship between asthma and being overweight in schoolchildren from the northeast of England; to assess being overweight as a risk factor for asthma in children; and to see if overweight children with asthma experience greater asthma symptoms after adjusting for passive tobacco smoke exposure. We studied 7,000 schoolchildren from the northeast of England. Body mass index (BMI) percentiles (<85, ≥85, and ≥95) were calculated using SPSS (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL). Boys in the highest BMI percentile had higher prevalence rates of asthma and respiratory symptoms than girls. Both boys and girls in the highest BMI percentile had higher prevalence rates of asthma and respiratory symptoms than those in the middle percentile. The association between being overweight and exercise-induced wheezing was stronger in boys than girls (odds ratio [OR]: 2.66 versus 1.69). In boys, the risk of being overweight based on BMI in the 85th percentile or greater was associated with exercise-induced wheezing (OR: 2.14), asthma ever (OR: 1.42), and current wheeze (OR: 1.90), while in girls it was only associated with exercise-induced wheezing. The present study illustrates that after adjusting for passive tobacco smoke exposure, elevated BMI especially in the highest BMI percentile (obesity) is a risk factor for asthma and indicates that there are gender differences regarding the respiratory risk of being overweight and obesity. © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
About the journal
JournalPediatric Asthma, Allergy and Immunology
ISSN08831874