A study including health data for more than 500,000 children in the United States suggests that obesity is at fault for around a quarter (23 to 27 percent) of asthma in obese children.
This could mean that around 10 per cent of all children between 2 and 17 years old with asthma – almost 1 million children in the United States – have been avoiding illness by maintaining a healthy weight, according to researchers at Duke University and colleagues with the Health System National Pediatric Learning (PEDSnet). The findings will be published November 26 by the magazine Paediatrics.
"Asthma is chronic disease No. 1 in children and some of the cases such as genetics and viral infections in childhood are things we can not stop them," said Jason E. Lang, MD, a pediatric link teacher in the Duke and the lead author study. "Obesity could be the only risk factor for childhood asthma that could be stopped. This is another piece of evidence that is important that keeping children active and at a healthy weight is important."
For the retrospective study, researchers analyzed data for 507,496 children of more than 19 million doctor visits in six major children's health centers.
The data was given to the clinical research data network of the PEDSnet name between 2009 and 2015.
Those who had been diagnosed with asthma were diagnosed in two or more doctor appointments and also had a prescription, as a respirator. Lung function tests also confirmed that they had the disease.
Thistle-discharged children – those with a body mass index (BMI) were in the 95 year old or higher percentage for their age and sex – a higher risk of 30 per cent of asthma development than healthy weight peers. Asthma did not affect those with obesity. Children who were overweight but not obese (BMI in the 85-94 percentages) also had a rising asthma risk of 17 per cent compared to healthy weight peers.
The researchers accounted for asthma risk using several models and have been adapted for risk factors such as gender, age, socio-economic status and allergies. The results continued and similar.
The study has a number of restrictions, said Lang, including the fact that the data was collected during doctor visits and not in a controlled clinical research setting. Lang said that more experiments needed to prove too much weight and obesity cause changes that lead to asthma because scientists do not fully understand how this would happen.
Scientists have examined assumptions, including possible differences in how lungs and children's breathing paths develop when they are overweight, and inflammatory changes in the body due to obesity, says Lang.
Still, these and others, as asthma often improve with weight loss, suggest that obesity plays a key or direct role in fault, says Lang.
"I think she's reasonably worried she's a causal relationship," said Lang. "Getting overweight or obese to a child seems to really increase your risk of asthma development, and there is a significant increase, paying attention to the importance of preventing obesity in young."
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