Objective: There is an increase in the prevalence of asthma, atopy and obesity in recent years. The studies investigating the relationship between these common health problems have shown an increment in the incidence of asthma among obese children. However, literature data regarding the correlation between atopy and obesity is conflicting. The present study investigated the association between obesity, asthma and atopy in children aged 6-18 years.
Materials and Methods: Ninety children aged 6- 18 years old were enrolled into the study. Sixty obese, thirty healthy control children composed the study cohort. Obesity was defined as body mass index ≥ 95th percentile for age. Physical examination and pulmonary function tests (FEV1, FVC, PEF, FEF25-75) were performed. A questionnaire examining obesity, allergic disease and asthma was conducted. Blood samples of the participants were collected for total and allergen specific IgE measurements.
Results: The prevalence of asthma attacks during the last 12 months (p= 0.049) and obese members in the family (p= 0.001) were found to be significantly higher in obese children compared to control group. Food and inhalant allergens specific IgE levels were increased in obese group. However this increment was not statistically significant (p= 0.136 and p= 0.392, respectively). There were no statistically significant difference in pulmonary function tests (p> 0.05) and total IgE levels (p= 0.619) among study and control groups.
Conclusion: We did not find a correlation between atopy and obesity. However, the evidence of frequent asthma attacks in obese children during the last 12 months suggested that obesity might be a risk factor for obesity.