Extra Weight May Raise Kids' Asthma Risk

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Could ending childhood obesity reduce rates of childhood asthma? Research from the Nemours Children’s Health System suggests that it could.

The Nemours study, published in Pediatrics, is one of the first to have used resources from PEDSnet, a network of eight of the largest children’s health centers in the United States that performs research and clinical trials. Looking at data from 500,000 children’s medical records from 2009 to 2015, they concluded that eliminating childhood obesity could prevent 10 percent of all asthma cases in children.

The patients represented by the medical records were between ages 2 and 17 and met certain criteria, including a BMI in the 85th percentile or higher for their age and gender and no prior asthma diagnosis. Each overweight or obese child was compared with a normal-weight child of the same age, gender, race, and other factors.

The researchers found that obesity was responsible for 23 to 27 percent of new childhood asthma cases in children with obesity. They also found that obesity increased the severity of asthma in these children.

Childhood asthma is one of the most common pediatric conditions and, say the researchers, focusing on obesity as a preventable risk factor is an important step toward cutting the number of pediatric asthma cases.

Sourced from: Pediatrics