Association found between high body mass index (BMI) and asthma
Mar 1, 2005 - 5:33:38 PM

In a cohort of New Zealand children who were followed from birth to age 26, overweight, expressed as higher body mass index, was significantly associated with asthma wheeze in females, but not in males.

The investigators found that the association between high body mass index (BMI) and asthma occurred in females who became overweight during late adolescence and early adulthood.

At age 9, there was no evidence of an association, but by 26 it was statistically significant. Analysis of data was performed in 1,037 children at ages 9, 11, 13, 15, 18, 21, and 26. Information on asthma and measurements of lung function, airway responsiveness, and atopy (inherited tendency toward allergic reaction) were obtained on each of these occasions. At each age checked, investigators calculated the young person's age, height, and weight in light clothing without shoes to determine BMI. The association between raised BMI and asthma appeared to emerge in late adolescence, according to the investigators.

The participants were part of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study which involved children (52 percent male) who were born between April 1971 and March 1973. At age 26, 980 (96 percent of the 1,019 living study members were still participating.

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