Baku, November 27, AZERTAC
A study that included health data for more than 500,000 children in the US suggests that obesity can be blamed for about a quarter (23 to 27%) of asthma in obese children, according to Medical Xpress.
That could mean that about 10 percent of all children ages 2 to 17 with asthma – nearly 1 million children in the United States – could have avoided the disease by maintaining a healthy weight, according to researchers at Duke University and colleagues at the National Pediatric Learning Health System. (PEDSnet).
"Asthma is the number 1 chronic disease in children and some of the causes, such as genetics and viral infections during childhood, are things we can not avoid," said Jason E. Lang, MD, associate professor of pediatrics at Duke and the study . lead author. "Obesity may be the only risk factor for childhood asthma that can be prevented. This is further evidence that keeping children active and healthy is important."
For the retrospective study, the researchers analyzed data from 507,496 children from more than 19 million physician visits at six major child health centers.
The data were entered into a clinical research data network called PEDSnet between 2009 and 2015.
Those classified as having asthma were diagnosed with two or more medical appointments and also received a prescription, such as an inhaler. Tests of their lung function also confirmed that they had the disease.
Children classified as obese – those with a body mass index (BMI) in the 95th percentile or above for their age and gender – had a 30% increase in the risk of developing asthma than healthy weight pairs. Asthma did not only affect those with obesity. Children who were overweight but not obese (BMI in the 85-94 percentile) also had a 17 percent increase in asthma risk compared to healthy weight pairs.
The researchers calculated the risk of asthma using various models and adjusted for risk factors such as gender, age, socioeconomic status, and allergies. The results remained similar.
The study has several limitations, Lang said, including that data were collected during doctor visits and not in a controlled clinical research environment. Lang said more experiments are needed to prove that overweight and obesity directly cause changes that lead to asthma because scientists do not completely understand how or why it would occur.
Scientists have explored hypotheses, including potential differences in how children's lungs and airways develop when they are overweight, and inflammatory changes in the body due to obesity, Lang said.
Still, these findings and others, such as asthma often improve with weight loss, suggest that obesity plays a key role or is directly culpable, Lang said.
"I think it's reasonable to be concerned that it's a causal relationship," Lang said. "It appears to be overweight or obese as a child significantly increases the risk of developing asthma, and is a significant increase, turning the attention to the importance of preventing obesity at an early age."
AZERTAG.AZ :Probable cause weight for a quarter of the cases of asthma in children with obesity
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