September 12, 2016
1 min read

Overweight girls, underweight boys at greater risk for asthma admission in adulthood

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A higher BMI in girls and a lower BMI in boys were associated with hospital admission rates for asthma during early adulthood, according to data presented recently at the European Respiratory Society International Congress in London.

“Our findings present an intriguing look at the differences we see between men and women when we identify predictors of asthma among children,” researcher Charlotte Suppli Ulrik, MD, DMSc, of Hvidovre Hospital and the University of Copenhagen, said in a press release. “This could be due to a range of factors including levels of physical activity, lung mechanics and different environmental factors.”

Ulrik and colleagues culled annual BMI data from the Copenhagen School Health Records Registry on 321,830 children when they were aged 7 to 13 years to examine associations between childhood weight and later-onset asthma. Cox regression analysis was applied to measure correlations between asthma hospital admissions up to age 45 years and BMI z scores.

Ulrik and colleagues reported that 1,962 incident admissions — the highest rates occurring among women — were observed during 5,101,123 person-years of follow-up. Overweight women had an increased risk for asthma admission vs. normal weight and underweight women, which peaked at age 13 years (HR = 1.39; 95% CI, 1.2-1.6). Men who had been underweight as boys had a greater risk for asthma admission in early adulthood compared with men with normal BMI, with the greatest risk at age 12 years (HR = 1.24; 95% CI, 1.03-1.49).

“We hope that our findings can aid clinicians identifying asthma risks in different individuals,” Ulrik said in the release. – by Kate Sherrer


Ulrik CS, et al. Body mass index at school age and hospital admissions for asthma in early adulthood: A prospective study of 321,830 children. Presented at: ERS International Congress; Sept. 3-7, 2016; London.

Disclosure: Infectious Diseases in Children was unable to confirm relevant financial disclosures at the time of publication.