Efficacy Of An Exercise Intervention Among Children With Comorbid Asthma And Obesity

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Public Health


Elsevier B.V.



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Objectives: Children with comorbid asthma and obesity present with more severe and harder-to-control disease than asthmatic children at healthy weight. Weight loss has been shown to improve asthma symptoms, yet physical activity may be difficult due to exercise-induced bronchospasm. Children with asthma have lower exercise rates than non-asthmatics. The objective of this study was to retrospectively evaluate attrition rates and program outcome measures (Body Mass Index [BMI] and maximum oxygen consumption [VO2max]) among asthmatic and non-asthmatic participants. Study design: Clinical data were collected from the Healthy Hearts Program, a 12-week nutrition and activity intervention program for children who are overweight, obese, or at risk for heart disease and other conditions, and used for the study. Methods: Intervention data and demographics were obtained from medical records at the Children's Heart Center Nevada. Descriptive statistics, paired t-tests, Cox regression analysis, and analysis of covariance were conducted. Results: The mean age of this population (N = 232) was 11 years; 54% were male, 64% were Hispanic, and 37% had asthma. Median time in the program was 9 weeks, and 58% of the population completed the program. Unadjusted analyses showed significant BMI decreases in asthmatic (P = 0.002) and non-asthmatic (P = 0.001) participants and increases in cardiorespiratory function for asthmatic males and females (P = 0.003, P = 0.004) and non-asthmatic males and females (P < 0.001 for both). Asthmatic and non-asthmatic children both had improved exercise intensity (P = 0.033, P < 0.001). Conclusions: This program is both beneficial and practical for obese children with asthma for losing weight and improving cardiorespiratory function. © 2018 The Royal Society for Public Health


Asthma; Exercise-induced bronchospasm; Intervention; Obesity; Pediatric; Physical activity



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