Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.


Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Respiratory tract diseases

Obesity increases risk of childhood asthma by 29%, say researchers

A retrospective cohort study involving more than 500,000 children found that obesity increases asthma risk by up to 29%.

Obese child with bronchodilator mask


Research has suggested that up to 10% of all childhood asthma cases could be avoided in the absence of obesity

Obesity is a major preventable cause of childhood asthma, conclude the authors of a study published in Paediatrics (online, 30 November 2018)[1].

The research used data from 507,496 children aged 2–17 years without asthma at baseline, who were followed-up for an average of 4 years. Asthma incidence was determined by at least two healthcare visits with a recorded asthma diagnosis and at least one inhaler prescription.

Those classified as overweight had a 17% greater risk, and those classified as obese had a 26% greater risk of incident asthma, compared with healthy-weight children. The risk of spirometry-confirmed asthma was not significantly increased in overweight children, but was increased by 29% in obese children.

The researchers explained that obesity had been linked to incident asthma in adults, but the relationship in children was less clear.

Overall, they said that reducing the onset of obesity in childhood would significantly reduce the public health burden of asthma in children, and that 10% of all asthma cases could be avoided. 

“Successful interventions which reduce paediatric obesity must be a major public health priority to improve the quality of life of children and reduce obesity’s contribution to paediatric asthma,” the team concluded.

Citation: Clinical Pharmacist DOI: 10.1211/CP.2019.20205936

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.