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High body mass index, asthma and allergy in Swedish schoolchildren participating in the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood: phase II
Linköping University, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Pediatrics. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Pediatrics. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Mid-Sweden Research and Development Centre, Sundsvall Hospital, Sweden.
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2003 (English)In: Acta Paediatrica, ISSN 0803-5253, E-ISSN 1651-2227, Vol. 92, no 10, 1144-1148 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aim: To assess the relationship between high body mass index (BMI) and asthma and atopic manifestations in 12-y-old children.

Methods: The relationship between high BMI and asthma symptoms was studied in 457 sixth-grade children, with (n= 161) and without (n= 296) current wheeze. High BMI was defined as ±75th percentile of gender-specific BMI reference values for Swedish children at 12 y of age; overweight as a subgroup of high BMI was defined as ±95th percentile. Children with a BMI >75th percentile served as controls. Questionnaires were used to assess asthmatic and allergic symptoms, and bronchial hyperresponsiveness was assessed by hypertonic saline provocation tests.

Results: Current wheeze was associated with high BMI after adjustment for confounding factors (adjusted OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.0–2.5) and overweight had an even more pronounced effect (adjusted OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.0–3.6). In addition, asthma severity was associated with high BMI, as evaluated by the number of wheezing episodes during the previous 12 mo among the wheezing children (adjusted OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.0–4.0). There was also an association between high BMI and the presence of eczema in wheezing children (adjusted OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.0–4.6). However, high BMI was not significantly associated with hay fever, positive skin prick tests or bronchial hyperresponsiveness.

Conclusion: The study confirms and extends a previously observed relationship between BMI and the presence of wheezing and asthma.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. Vol. 92, no 10, 1144-1148 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-26373DOI: 10.1080/08035250310005666Local ID: 10907OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-26373DiVA: diva2:246922
Available from: 2009-10-08 Created: 2009-10-08 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Asthma, bronchial hyperresponsiveness and body weight in children
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Asthma, bronchial hyperresponsiveness and body weight in children
2003 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background: In the past few years, the relationship between overweight and asthma has been shown in countries with a Western life-style, but the mechanisms of this relation are only partially understood. Also, very low birth weight (VLBW) babies have immature lung and immune systems, which can conceivably affect the development of asthma and allergy later in life. Bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) is a cardinal feature of asthma. A good and validated method is therefore needed to assess BHR in epidemiological studies in children.

Aims: To assess the sensitivity and specificity of hypertonic saline bronchial provocation test as a tool to identify asthma in epidemiological studies and to elucidate the inflammatory mechanisms. To assess whether overweight and VLBW increase the risk for asthma, BHR and atopy. To assess the role of the adipose-derived hormone leptin and leptin-associated pro-inflammatory cytokines in asthma in overweight children.

Material and Methods: Three groups of children were included. Allergic diseases were defined according to standardized and validated questionnaires. The hypertonic saline provocation test with a standardized methodology was applied to assess BHR. Cytokines were analyzed by ELISA in stimulated cells and in serum. The serum levels of leptin were also analyzed by ELISA. Urinary LTE4, 11ß-PGF and histamine were determined by EIA, and EPX by RIA.

Results: The sensitivity of the hypertonic saline provocation test for identifying asthma was over 60% and the specificity was over 80%. Recurrent wheeze was associated with a high magnitude of BHR. The levels of urinary LTE4 increased after the challenge tests, both in the asthmatics (p = 0.05) and in the healthy controls (p < 0.01). The levels of histamine also increased in the latter (p = 0.03). However, the levels of 11ß-PGF and EPX were similar in the asthmatics and in the healthy controls. Current wheeze was independently associated with high body mass index (BMI) (≥ 75th percentile of sex-specific reference values for Swedish children at 12-year-old). Overweight (≥ 90th percentile) had an even more pronounced effect (adjusted OR 1.9, 95 % CI 1.0-3.6). Leptin levels were considerably higher in children with than without overweight (p < 0.001). Among the overweight children, children with current asthma had higher levels of leptin than children without current asthma (30.8 vs. 14.3 ng/ml), although not significant. Interferon-y was more often detected in children with than without overweight (61% vs. 12%, p < 0.001), and there was a weak positive correlation between leptin and IFN-γ. A history of asthma up to 12 years of age was more frequent in the VLBW than in the term children (p < 0.05). In the VLBW children, neonatal oxygen supplementation seemed to be the only independent risk factor for a history of asthma (adjusted OR 4.2). The VLBW children who required neonatal mechanical ventilation were more likely to have BHR at age 12 than those who did not (60% vs. 28%, p = 0.05). However, very low birth weight was not associated with allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, eczema or positive skin prick tests, and the levels of IL-4, IL-5 and IFN-γ in stimulated cell cultures were similar in the VLBW and the term children.

Conclusions: Hypertonic saline provocation tests are useful for identifying asthma in population-based studies in children. Inhalation of hypertonic saline induces the secretion of leukotrienes and histamine even in healthy individuals with no clinical consequences, but the bronchoconstriction does not seem to be induced by the analyzed inflammatory mediators. High BMI and overweight are associated with asthma symptoms. Leptin and leptin-associated pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as IFN-γ, may be involved in overweight-related asthma. Very low birth weight is associated with asthma in adolescence, and neonatal oxygen supplementation seems to be the risk factor. Neonatal mechanical ventilation is related to BHR. However, very low birth weight is not associated with atopy. Thus, very low birth weight may lead to non-atopic, rather than atopic asthma.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet, 2003. 72 p.
Series
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 806
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-26663 (URN)11229 (Local ID)91-7373-498-5 (ISBN)11229 (Archive number)11229 (OAI)
Public defence
2003-10-03, Elsa Brändströmssalen, Hälsouniversitet, Linköping, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Available from: 2009-10-08 Created: 2009-10-08 Last updated: 2012-10-15Bibliographically approved

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Mai, XiaomeiNilsson, LennartAxelson, OlavKjellman, MaxBjörkstén, Bengt

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