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Obese children more likely to need repeated hospital visits for asthma

Children taken to hospital due to asthma may be at risk of repeated admissions if they are also obese, pointing to the importance of preventing obesity in children with asthma, researchers say.

Children taken to hospital due to asthma may be at risk of repeated admissions if they are also obese, pointing to the importance of preventing obesity in children with asthma, researchers say

obese
An asthmatic boy using an inhaler. Picture: Science Photo Library

Children taken to hospital due to asthma may be at risk of repeated admissions if they are also obese, a study has found.

Researchers used Japanese hospital discharge records of 38,679 inpatients aged three to 18 with a diagnosis of asthma, dating from July 2010 to March 2015.

The data was collected from more than 1,000 hospitals, covering 50% of all inpatient admissions to acute care hospitals in Japan.

Using World Health Organization body mass index indicators for age, patients were classified as underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese.

The researchers then compared re-admissions within 30 days, need for intensive care, mean total hospital costs and length of stay among the four groups.

Significantly higher

They found the obese group showed significantly higher 30-day re-admissions and longer lengths of stay than the normal weight group.

No significant difference was observed between the four groups regarding need for intensive care and total hospital costs.

The authors recognised limitations of the study, in that socioeconomic factors were not known and the effect of pre-existing allergic disorders may have been underestimated.

They concluded: 'Paediatric obesity was significantly associated with an increased risk of 30-day re-admission for Japanese children hospitalised with acute asthma exacerbation.

'Our investigations provide important information for the prevention of obesity in children with asthma.'


Okubo Y et al (2017) Impact of pediatric obesity on acute asthma exacerbation in Japan. Pediatric Allergy and Immunology. doi: 10.1111/pai.12801

 

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