The relationship between BMI and asthma is a significant health concern among pre-adolescent and adolescent children
Furman, Jennifer Leah
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In the U.S., the prevalence rates of obesity and asthma have increased over the past 20 years and led to speculation that a correlation exists between them. Most of the research that has been conducted on the association between obesity and asthma has been done so in adults. Little data are available on this association in children. Obesity and asthma are associated with significant morbidity and mortality risk. Concern that the prevalence of overweight and asthma in children will persist and/or worsen in adulthood has prompted the current study. This study analyzed the association between asthma and allergy prevalence and measures of overweight, dietary intake, supplement use, ethnicity, child?s guardian, mother?s education level, and whether the mother smokes among children aged 9 to 11 years and 13 to 15 years. This study also analyzed the association between the use of prescription asthma and allergy medication and asthma and allergy diagnosis, measures of overweight, dietary intake, supplement use, ethnicity, guardian, mother?s education level, and whether the mother smokes. The findings of this study revealed that non-White children had greater odds of asthma diagnosis and were more likely to use asthma medications. A positive correlation was found between asthma diagnosis and allergy diagnosis and between asthma diagnosis and the use of allergy medication. Positive correlations were found between asthma diagnosis and BMI category, subscapular skinfold thickness, and waist circumference among children 9 to 11 years old. Age and weight were found to be inversely correlated with asthma diagnosis among children 13 to 15 years old. BMI category was found to be positively associated with asthma diagnosis among males, but not among females. Asthma diagnosis in females was not found to be significantly correlated with any of the variables. Dietary intake, multi-vitamin/mineral and omega-3 fatty acid supplementation, guardian, waist/hip ratio, mother?s smoking habit, and mother?s education level were not found to be significantly correlated with asthma or allergy diagnosis or with asthma or allergy medication use. A significance value of p<0.05 was used for all analyses.