A cross sectional observational study about the relationship between body mass index and severity of asthma in children aged 6 to 14 years

Rugma Karunakaran, Rati Santhakumar, Johny Vincent


Background: The effects of obesity on asthma severity, diagnosis and control are increasingly recognized. Primary objective of our study was to find out the relationship between BMI and severity of asthma in children. Secondary objectives were to study associated co-morbid conditions viz., atopic eczema and allergic rhinitis in children with asthma and the relationship between family history of asthma, atopy and allergic rhinitis with severity of asthma.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was done in the tertiary care centre in Thrissur, Kerala. Children of age 6 to 14 years diagnosed as asthma according to Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) guidelines were included. One hundred children qualified for the study during the stipulated time period. Children with symptoms and signs of asthma, were classified to intermittent and persistent based on GINA guidelines. BMI was calculated in all. Preliminary details and details on the risk factors were collected.

Results: Mean age of the study population is 8.8 years. The study group had male predominance (57%). 39% had mild intermittent, 33% had mild persistent, 22% had moderate persistent and 6% had severe persistent asthma. Intermittent, mild persistent and moderate persistent were grouped as non-severe. 50% children had normal BMI, 28% were overweight and 22% underweight. Family history of asthma and atopic dermatitis was 47% and 38% respectively. Maximum children belonged to low socioeconomic status.

Conclusion: Did not find any statistically significant association between severity and duration of asthma with obesity or overweight in children with asthma (p>0.05).



Asthma, BMI, Obesity, Atopy

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