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Researchers from the University of Amsterdam Medical Center investigated the relationship between childhood asthma and obesity. This relationship is characterized by reduced lung function, worse asthma symptoms, increased healthcare use, and poor response to inhaled corticosteroids. Their study suggests that children with asthma who are overweight or obese might be using inhaled corticosteroids with no benefit.

The investigators used Mendelian randomization to analyze four cross-sectional studies and one cohort study with a total of 1,511 children with asthma. This analysis honed in on genetic variation regarding predisposition to obesity. Ultimately, it was found that for every 1-unit increase in the BMI z-score, the odds of experiencing an asthma exacerbation more than doubled.

In conclusion, this study suggests that excess weight is associated with worse childhood asthma outcomes, despite inhaled corticosteroid use. However, it remains unclear whether this association might be due to unmeasured confounding or reverse causation. A call to action is made for providers to consider lifestyle and diet modifications for their pediatric patients with asthma, in addition to pharmacologic treatment [1].


[1] Osterweil, N. (2021, September 15). Obese children with asthma are resistant to ICS. Medscape. https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/958761#vp_1

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