Childhood obesity in relation to poor asthma control and exacerbation: a meta-analysis

Fariba Ahmadizar, Susanne J. H. Vijverberg, Hubertus G. M. Arets, Anthonius de Boer, Jason E. Lang, Meyer Kattan, Colin N. A. Palmer, Somnath Mukhopadhyay, Steve Turner, Anke H. Maitland-van der Zee (Lead / Corresponding author)

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78 Citations (Scopus)


To estimate the association between obesity and poor asthma control or risk of exacerbations in asthmatic children and adolescents, and to assess whether these associations are different by sex.A meta-analysis was performed on unpublished data from three North-European paediatric asthma cohorts (BREATHE, PACMAN (Pharmacogenetics of Asthma medication in Children: Medication with Anti-inflammatory effects) and PAGES (Pediatric Asthma Gene Environment Study)) and 11 previously published studies (cross-sectional and longitudinal studies). Outcomes were poor asthma control (based on asthma symptoms) and exacerbations rates (asthma-related visits to the emergency department, asthma-related hospitalisations or use of oral corticosteroids). Overall pooled estimates of the odds ratios were obtained using fixed- or random-effects models.In a meta-analysis of 46 070 asthmatic children and adolescents, obese children (body mass index ≥95th percentile) compared with non-obese peers had a small but significant increased risk of asthma exacerbations (OR 1.17, 95% CI 1.03-1.34; I(2): 54.7%). However, there was no statistically significant association between obesity and poor asthma control (n=4973, OR 1.23, 95% CI 0.99-1.53; I(2): 0.0%). After stratification for sex, the differences in odds ratios for girls and boys were similar, yet no longer statistically significant.In asthmatic children, obesity is associated with a minor increased risk of asthma exacerbations but not with poor asthma control. Sex does not appear to modify this risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1063-1073
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
Issue number4
Early online date1 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2016


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