Overweight kids at higher risk of asthma
Overweight or obese children are more likely to develop asthma compared to children with a healthy weight, according to new research published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Researchers also found that moderately or extremely obese kids are at greater risk of developing aggressive forms of asthma that can land them in the hospital.
For the study, researchers analyzed health data from 623,358 children ages 6 to 19 and monitored them over the course of one year. They divided the children into four groups based on measurements of their height and weight. These groups were normal weight, overweight, moderately obese and extremely obese. They found that children who were overweight were 1.16 times more likely to develop asthma compared to normal weight children. Moderately obese kids were 1.23 times more likely to develop asthma, and extremely obese children were 1.37 times more at risk for the condition.
In addition, the scientists found that race/ethnicity, age and sex also played a role in risk. Moderately obese girls between the age of 6 and 10 had a 1.36 times higher risk of developing asthma compared to normal weight girls of the same age, and extremely obese girls in that age group had a 1.56 times higher risk. Moderately obese Asian-Pacific Islander kids had a 1.41 times higher risk of developing asthma, and extremely obese children of that ethnicity had a 1.67 times higher risk.