Asthmatic children more likely to become obese, study finds

Children with asthma are more likely to become obese, according to new research published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

For the study, researchers examined health data on 2,171 kindergartners and first graders who were not obese at the time they were enrolled in Southern California Children's Health Study. At the beginning of the study, 13.5 percent of the children had asthma.

Researchers followed study participants for up to 10 years, during which time 15.8 percent of the participants became obese. Children with asthma displayed a 51 percent higher risk of developing obesity during childhood and adolescence.

"Asthma and obesity often occur together in children, but it is unclear whether children with asthma are at higher risk for onset of obesity or whether obese children develop asthma, or both," said Zhanghua Chen, PhD, lead study author and a postdoctoral research associate of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. "Our findings add to the literature that early-life asthma history may lead to increased risk of childhood obesity."

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