Early-onset asthma tied to increased risk for childhood obesity

  • Contreras ZA & al.
  • Eur Respir J
  • 12 Sep 2018

  • curated by Sarfaroj Khan
  • UK Clinical Digest
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  • Early-onset asthma and wheezing were associated with a higher incidence of developing obesity in later childhood.
  • There was a less strong evidence for allergic rhinitis but still indicative of a higher risk for obesity.

Why this matters

  • These findings lend support for further investigation of the factors associated with increased risk of obesity in children with asthma to better adapt future obesity prevention efforts.

Study design

  • This multicentre study evaluated the association of early-onset asthma and asthma-related phenotypes with incident obesity up to age 8 years in a pooled sample of 21,130 children born between 1990 and 2008 from 16 European birth cohort.
  • Funding: Southern California Environmental Health Sciences Center.

Key results

  • Incident obesity risk was 66% higher in children with physician-diagnosed asthma vs those without asthma diagnosis (aHR, 1.66; 95% CI, 1.18-2.33).
  • Children with wheeze had an increased risk for obesity vs those with no baseline wheeze (aHR 1.29; 95% CI, 1.00-1.67)
  • Children with active asthma showed a greater risk for obesity vs those without wheeze and asthma (aHR, 1.98; 95% CI, 1.31-3.00).
  • Children with persistent wheezing had an increased risk for incident obesity vs those who never wheezed (aHR, 1.51; 95% CI, 1.08-2.09).
  • Allergic rhinitis was positively associated with the onset of obesity (aHR, 1.29; 95% CI, 0.98-1.68).


  • Some cohorts did not have data available for all confounding variables.

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