How does obesity affect asthma

Asthma and Obesity in Children - Is There a Link?

bronchial asthma is the most common chronic disease in children. About 10% of children in Western Europe suffer from asthma. The affected children often inherited the predisposition for asthma from their parents. Whether a child with one genetic predisposition actually falls ill, but depends, among other things, on the environmental conditions. Certain infections also seem to increase the risk of asthma. Causes such as genetics and childhood viral infections cannot be prevented. Obesity, however, is perhaps the only one avoidable risk factor for childhood asthma.

Scientists from Duke University in North Carolina (USA) analyzed the data of 507,496 children (2 to 17 years) or more than 19 million doctor visits in six major child health centers in the USA in a study.

Any weight gain above normal increases the risk of asthma

According to the results of the study, children have that to be strong overweight (obesity) were classified as having a 30% higher risk of asthma than peers of normal weight. Asthma does not only affect adolescents who are very overweight. Even children who were overweight but not obese still had a 17% increased risk of asthma. According to the researchers, this means that about 23 to 27% of all asthma illnesses in overweight children are caused directly by being overweight. If you convert that, the values ​​mean that about 10% of all Asthma cases in children would be avoidable if they kept a healthy weight; that's nearly 1 million children in the United States. In Germany it would still be 50,000 (1). Because every seventh child in our country is now too fat or even obese. This is shown by a study by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) on the health of children and adolescents.

Earlier research has also shown that asthma, conversely, can also lead to obesity. The Lung Information Service wrote: “Children with bronchial asthma have an increased risk of developing overweight during their childhood, regardless of factors such as physical activity. However, if they use reliever medication such as beta-2 sympathomimetics, this could counteract the increased risk. "(2)

The connections are still unclear

The study clearly shows that being overweight and obese are directly increasing Changes in the organism that contribute to asthma. In these cases obesity can be directly responsible for the development of asthma, or at least one of them Key role play. However, the scientists have not yet been able to fully clarify how and why this is happening. One hypothesis is that the lungs and airways develop differently in children who are overweight and that, due to obesity, inflammatory changes occur in the children's bodies that favor asthma.

This new finding complements the long-known fact that weight loss often improves asthma. All of this shows the importance of avoiding obesity from a young age. Parents should take care that their children stay active and maintain a healthy weight.