Thursday October 24, 2019

Obesity Spikes up Asthma Risk in Children

"Addressing childhood obesity should be a priority to help improve the quality of life of children and help reduce paediatric asthma," Finkel noted

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Obesity increases asthma risk in children: Study. Pixabay

Parents, please take note. Obese children are at an increased risk of asthma, a new study has found.

The findings suggest that the incidence of an asthma diagnosis among children with obesity was significantly higher than in those in a normal weight range and that 23 to 27 per cent of new asthma cases were directly attributable to obesity.

“Paediatric asthma is among the most prevalent childhood conditions and comes at a high cost to patients, families and the greater health system,” said co-author Terri Finkel from Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando.

“There are few preventable risk factors to reduce the incidence of asthma, but our data show that reducing the onset of childhood obesity could significantly lower the public health burden of asthma,” Finkel added.

For the study published in the journal Paediatrics, the research team analysed medical records of more than 500,000 children.

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The study provides new insight that could help us predict and manage diseases like asthma – which are a significant public health burden. IANS

The researchers reviewed de-identified data of patients aged two to 17 without a history of asthma, receiving care from six paediatric academic medical centres between 2009 and 2015.

Overweight or obese patients were matched with normal weight patients of the same age, gender, race, ethnicity, insurance type and location of care.

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The researchers found that obesity among children with asthma appears to increase disease severity. Being overweight was identified as a modest risk factor for asthma, and the association was diminished when the most stringent definition of asthma was used.

“Addressing childhood obesity should be a priority to help improve the quality of life of children and help reduce paediatric asthma,” Finkel noted. (IANS)

Next Story

Fatty Tissues Accumulate Inside Lungs of Obese People: Study

The researchers examined post-mortem samples of the lungs that had been donated for the research and stored in the Airway Tissue Biobank

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Excess fat accumulates in the airway walls of Obese people where it takes up space and seems to increase inflammation within the lungs. Pixabay

Researchers have found that fatty tissues accumulate in the airway walls, particularly in people who are overweight or obese.

The study, published in the European Respiratory Journal, suggested that the fatty tissue alters the structure of people’s airways and this could be one reason behind the increased risk of asthma.

“Our research team studies the structure of the airways within our lungs and how these are altered in people with respiratory disease,” said the study’s author John Elliot from Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Australia.

“Looking at the samples of lungs, we spotted fatty tissue that had built up in the airway walls. We wanted to see if this accumulation was correlated with body weight,” Elliot said.

The researchers examined post-mortem samples of the lungs that had been donated for the research and stored in the Airway Tissue Biobank.

They studied samples from 52 people, including 15 who had no asthma, 21 who had the disease but died of other causes and 16 who died of asthma.

Using dyes to help visualise the structures of 1373 airways under a microscope, they identified and quantified any fatty tissue present.

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Fatty tissue alters the structure of Obese people’s airways and this could be one reason behind the increased risk of asthma. Pixabay

They compared this data with each person’s body mass index (BMI).

The study showed that fatty tissue accumulates in the walls of the airways. The analysis revealed that the amount of fat present increases in line with increasing BMI.

“We’ve found that excess fat accumulates in the airway walls where it takes up space and seems to increase inflammation within the lungs,” said the study’s co-author Peter Noble.

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“We think this is causing a thickening of the airways that limits the flow of air in and out of the lungs, and that could at least partly explain an increase in asthma symptoms,” Noble said. (IANS)