The Relationship Between Body-Mass Index, Central Obesity and Asthma in Children

Arzu Ay
Hulya Ucaryilmaz
Ayca Emsen
Hasibe Artac


Objective: We hypothesized that, compared with body mass index (BMI) alone, central obesity would provide added information regarding types of asthma (allergic, nonallergic) and asthma severity.

Materials and Methods: A total of 150 children aged between 7-17 years with 50 allergic asthma, 50 nonallergic asthma and 50 controls were included in the study. Height, weight, waist and hip circumferences of the groups were measured. Waist-to-hip ratio and BMI were calculated. Pulmonary function test results were recorded. The relation between anthropometric measurements, asthma, atopy, obesity and each other was analyzed.

Results: Obesity according to BMI was higher in the group with allergic asthma than nonallergic asthma and the control group (p: 0.014). A positive correlation was found between asthma and BMI percentile, BMI z score and waist-to-hip ratio (p: 0.002; 0.003; 0.040, respectively). Children with obesity according to waist circumference were more frequent in the groups with allergic and nonallergic asthma compared to the control group (p: 0.048). There was a significant relationship between asthma severity and central obesity (p: 0.048). FEV1 / FVC and FEF25-75 were lower in the asthmatic groups compared to the control group (p: 0.028; 0.012, respectively).

Conclusion: This study showed that central obesity was associated with asthma and asthma severity, but not with atopy. More investigation is needed to clarify how central obesity in children affects the control of asthma and the response to asthma medication.


Childhood asthma, central obesity, waist-to-hip ratio, body mass index
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