Children and teens who are overweight or obese are more likely to have asthma than their healthy-weight peers, a new study finds.
The strength of the association between asthma and obesity varied by race and ethnicity. "This research contributes to the growing evidence that there is a relationship between childhood obesity and asthma, and suggests that factors related to race and ethnicity may [influence] this relationship," study author Mary Helen Black, of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation, said.
The study is published in the online edition of Obesity.
How the study was done
Using electronic health records, researchers examined height and weight measurements, asthma diagnoses and asthma-specific medications for 681,000 children aged 6 to 19. About 18 percent of the youth, who were racially and ethnically diverse, had asthma.
Obese and overweight kids who had asthma made more frequent visits to the doctor and emergency room for asthma-related issues. These overweight kids also used more inhaled and oral corticosteroid asthma drugs than their normal-weight peers.
Although the study found an association between asthma and being obese or overweight, it has not yet been proven that excess weight causes asthma.
Asthma in children
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America provides more information on childhood asthma.
(Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.)
This article has not necessarily been edited by Health24.