Asthma, allergy, and obesity: Examining the relationship among Nevada children

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Journal of Asthma





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Objective: The majority of pediatric asthma is atopic, but whether pediatric obese asthma is atopic is indeterminate in the literature. In Nevada, children become sensitized to aeroallergens, a risk factor for asthma, at young ages. Additionally, Nevada children have high rates of obesity. Our objective is to determine whether elevated body mass index (BMI) is associated with asthma severity, allergen sensitization, and polysensitization. Methods: Medical records from a pediatric allergy clinic provided BMI percentile, physician-diagnosed asthma severity, skin prick test data, and sociodemographics such as age, race, sex, and insurance status from asthmatic patients. Descriptive statistics and binary and multinomial logistic regression were conducted. Results: In this population (N = 125) aged 1–16, 61% were male, 65% were white, and 74% had private health insurance. Sixty-five percent of children were under/healthy weight and 29% were overweight/obese. Asthma symptoms were moderate in 66% of the population, and severe in 18%. Nearly 85% of this population was atopic, and 82% were polysensitized. Sensitization and polysensitization occurred in all weight categories. Asthma severity and elevated BMI were not associated significantly. Overweight/obese children (≥85th percentile) had lower odds of allergen sensitization (adjusted odds ratio 0.26, 95% CI = 0.85–0.78, p = 0.016) and polysensitization (adjusted odds ratio 0.30, 95% CI = 0.11–0.85, p = 0.023) than healthy weight children (<85th percentile). Conclusion: Although overweight children did show allergen sensitization, those who were overweight had lower odds of allergen sensitization and lower odds of polysensitization, as compared to normal weight asthmatic children. Elevated BMI was not a significant predictor of asthma severity. © 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.



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