Childhood body mass index (BMI) has been associated with hospital admissions for asthma in early adulthood, and overweight BMI measures increased the risk of admission in women while underweight BMI measures increased the risk in men. Researchers analyzed data from the Copenhagen School Health Records Registry and the Danish National Patient Registry. The scientists linked information on BMI measurements taken annually (ages 7 to 13 years) in over 300,000 school children to hospital admissions for asthma in early adulthood among the same group, reports Science Daily.
The analysis revealed that the risk of asthma admission was significantly higher for those who were overweight than for normal and underweight women, with the strongest link seen with the BMI measurements taken at age 13. In addition, overweight women had a 39% increase relative risk of asthma admission, while men who were underweight in childhood had a higher risk of asthma admission in early adulthood compared to men with normal BMI, with the strongest link seen with the BMI measurements taken at age 12.
The results also showed that underweight boys had a 24% increased relative risk of being admitted with asthma. Lead author of the study Professor Charlotte Suppli Ulrik says, “Our findings present an intriguing look at the differences we see between men and women when we identify predictors of asthma among children. This could be due to a range of factors including levels of physical activity, lung mechanics and different environmental factors.”
Ulrik adds, “We hope that our findings can aid clinicians identifying asthma risks in different individuals. By understanding which individuals are at risk of developing more severe asthma, we can encourage lifestyle changes that can help reduce this risk.”
Source: Science Daily