Children’s body mass index (BMI) is linked to allergy and asthma

A study looking at the links between a high body mass index (BMI) in children, changes in BMI until age seven, and the likelihood of having asthma and/or allergy at eight years of age has looked at a birth cohort of new born infants for eight years.

Carried out by researchers at the Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, the study involved carrying out repeated parental questionnaires and gathering information on weight and height from pre-school and school health care records. The analyses included data from 2075 children for whom all this information was available, plus information on asthma, at eight years of age.

The results showed that a high BMI at age 1, 4, and/or 7 was associated with an increased risk of asthma at 8 years of age. No significant risk was seen in children with a high BMI at age 12 and/or 18 months old, or at 4 years, whose BMI was normal by age 7. Those children who had a high BMI at age seven were at increased risk of asthma at age 8, regardless of their earlier weight. Those children with a high BMI at age 7 had a higher risk of sensitisation to inhalant allergens.

Source: Pediatrics


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First Published January 2012

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