Background and Objective: Obesity is associated with an increased risk of asthma in children. Atopic sensitization is a major risk factor for asthma including severe asthma in children. It is unclear if obesity is associated with worse asthma control or severity in children and how its effects compare to atopy. We sought to examine relationships of weight status and atopy to asthma control and severity among a population of predominantly low income, minority children and adolescents with persistent asthma. Methods: A cross-sectional analysis of 832 children and adolescents, age range 5–17 years, with persistent asthma was performed. Clinical assessments included asthma questionnaires of symptoms, asthma severity score, health care utilization and medication treatment step, lung function testing, and skin prick testing as well as measures of adiposity. Data were collected between December 2010 and August 2014 from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD and Children's Hospital of Boston, MA. Results: Obesity was not associated with worse asthma control or severity in this group of predominantly low income, minority children and adolescents with persistent asthma. However, a greater degree of atopy was associated with lower lung function, higher asthma severity score, and higher medication treatment step. Conclusion: Atopy may be a more important risk factor for asthma severity than obesity among low-income minority children and adolescents with persistent asthma living in Northeastern cities in the United States.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health