Early childhood weight status in relation to asthma development in high-risk children

Zhumin Zhang, Hui Chuan J. Lai, Kathy A. Roberg, Ronald E. Gangnon, Michael D. Evans, Elizabeth L. Anderson, Tressa E. Pappas, Douglas F. Dasilva, Christopher J. Tisler, Lisa P. Salazar, James E. Gern, Robert F. Lemanske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Obesity has been proposed to be a risk factor for the development of childhood asthma. Objective: We sought to examine weight status from birth to age 5 years in relation to the occurrence of asthma at ages 6 and 8 years. Methods: Two hundred eighty-five full-term high-risk newborns with at least 1 asthmatic/atopic parent enrolled in the Childhood Origin of Asthma project were studied from birth to age 8 years. Overweight was defined by weight-for-length percentiles of greater than the 85th percentile before the age of 2 years and a body mass index percentile of greater than the 85th percentile at ages 2 to 5 years. Results: No significant concurrent association was found between overweight status and wheezing/asthma occurrence at each year of age. In contrast, longitudinal analyses revealed complex relationships between being overweight and asthma. Being overweight at age 1 year was associated with a decreased risk of asthma at age 6 (odds ratio [OR], 0.32; P = .02) and 8 (OR, 0.35; P = .04) years, as well as better lung function. However, being overweight beyond infancy was not associated with asthma occurrence. In fact, only children who were overweight at age 5 years but not at age 1 year had an increased risk of asthma at age 6 years (OR, 5.78; P = .05). Conclusion: In children genetically at high risk of asthma, being overweight at age 1 year was associated with a decreased risk of asthma and better lung function at ages 6 and 8 years. However, being overweight beyond infancy did not have any protective effect and even could confer a higher risk for asthma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1157-1162
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Volume126
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Asthma
  • children
  • high-risk birth cohort
  • overweight

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