PURPOSE OF THE STUDY.
The goal of this study was to compare airway and systemic inflammation in obese and nonobese children with asthma.
The study participants included 361 mainly white children 8 to 17 years old in Australia. Participants were divided into 4 groups: obese asthmatics, nonobese asthmatics, obese control subjects, and nonobese control subjects.
In a cross-sectional analysis, biomarkers of airway and systemic inflammation were compared among groups. These biomarkers included exhaled nitric oxide, sputum inflammatory cells, C-reactive protein, IL-6, leptin, and adiponectin. Obesity was defined based on BMI z score, and lung function was measured by using spirometry.
Obese asthmatic female subjects had more noneosinophilic asthma compared with male subjects; however, there was no significant difference in inflammatory cells between obese asthmatic and nonobese asthmatic subjects. Obese control subjects had higher leptin levels compared with nonobese control subjects, but there was no difference in the obese asthmatic subjects compared with nonobese asthmatic subjects. Adiponectin was reduced in obese asthmatic subjects compared with nonobese control subjects, but there was no difference in the obese asthmatic subjects compared with nonobese control subjects.
In this cohort, there was no statistically significant association between obesity and biomarkers of inflammation in children with asthma.
In children, there is a paucity of studies that examine associations between obesity and biomarkers of airway and systemic inflammation in asthma compared with adults. Some studies have demonstrated a positive association between biomarkers of inflammation and obesity in adults with asthma (Sutherland ER. Linking obesity and asthma. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2014;1311:31–41). More longitudinal studies are needed to further investigate this relationship in children as they transition into adolescence and adulthood. To thoroughly examine this association, the present study should be replicated in a large diverse population, which may have implications for racial and ethnic disparities in asthma.
- Copyright © 2014 by the American Academy of Pediatrics