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Overweight in childhood and adolescence: Does it lead to airway hyperresponsiveness in adulthood?

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BACKGROUND: Obesity is increasing worldwide among children and adolescents, and has been associated with an increased incidence of asthma. However, the mechanisms underlying this association are incompletely understood.

OBJECTIVE: In this cohort study we aimed to investigate whether being overweight in childhood and adolescence is associated with an increased risk of airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), a hallmark of asthma, in early adulthood.

METHODS: Of 527 subjects from a random population sample of children and adolescents (7-17 years) examined at baseline, a total of 184 subjects completed the follow-up visit 20 years later and were included in the present analysis. Both visits included assessment of height and weight, case history and spirometry. At both visits, bronchial provocation tests were performed using either histamine (baseline) or methacholine (follow-up). In addition, fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) was measured at follow-up.

RESULTS: No significant difference in the prevalence of AHR at follow-up was found between subjects who were overweight or obese at baseline visit (n = 26) (pediatric definition, body mass index ≥ 85%percentile) and normal weight subjects (n = 158) (positive bronchial provocation tests: 15.4% vs. 22.2%, respectively, p = 0.35). Likewise, follow-up FeNO levels did not differ significantly between subjects who were lean and those who were overweight or obese at baseline (geometric mean (95% confidence interval [CI]) 15.1 (13.7, 16.6) parts per billion (ppb) versus 13.0 (10.6, 15.9) ppb, p = 0.23).

CONCLUSION: In children and adolescents, being obese or overweight seems not to be associated with an increased risk of AHR or increased FeNO levels in early adulthood.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of asthma : official journal of the Association for the Care of Asthma
Volume55
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)1-8
ISSN0277-0903
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

ID: 51631542