A few extra pounds may harm lung function in black, hispanic kids

February 22, 2013
A few extra pounds may harm lung function in black, hispanic kids
Differences in body fat distribution could boost asthma rates in some minorities, study says.

(HealthDay)—Even a small amount of extra weight can have a negative effect on the lung function of Hispanic and black children, according to a new study.

However, this is not the case for white children, the researchers noted. As a result, they suggested that differences in the distribution of body fat could help explain the greater prevalence of in these minority groups. The study authors said their findings could help doctors identify and treat children with .

"While it has been well documented that Hispanics and African-Americans—particularly those who live in urban settings—have a higher prevalence of asthma and obesity, there is less understanding of the lung function in overweight asthmatic minority children," senior study author Dr. Deepa Rastogi, an attending physician in the division of respiratory and at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore in New York City, explained in a Montefiore news release.

"What we have learned from this study is that even small increases in weight can negatively impact lung function," Rastogi added.

In conducting the study, published in the February issue of the Journal of Asthma, the researchers examined the medical records of 980 children living in the Bronx ranging in age from 7 to 20. The records were collected from January 2003 to December 2007.

Although white children tend to be obese before they experience airway obstruction due to , the study revealed that just being overweight can have a negative effect on lung function among .

"This information may prove to be helpful in the clinic," noted Rastogi, who is also an assistant professor of pediatrics at College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. "Physicians might want to measure the degree of airway obstruction in Hispanic and African-American who are both overweight or obese and asthmatic. Early identification of a drop in lung function can assist in better patient management."

While the study showed a connection between being overweight and having airway problems, it didn't establish a cause-and-effect relationship.

Although asthma is usually attributed to environmental factors such as secondhand smoke and exposure to dust or mold, the study authors suggested ethnic differences in body shape and upper body fat distribution may shed light on this discrepancy. Weight gain in Hispanics and blacks may be associated with increased abdominal fat, they explained. This extra belly fat could increase the prevalence of asthma in these minority groups.

The researchers noted previous research has shown that waist circumference is linked to the severity of asthma. Waist size, they added, also has an inverse relationship with .

Explore further: Vitamin D deficiency linked with airway changes in children with severe asthma

More information: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides tips for parents on how to help their children maintain a healthy weight.

Related Stories

Vitamin D deficiency linked with airway changes in children with severe asthma

September 22, 2011
Children with severe therapy-resistant asthma (STRA) may have poorer lung function and worse symptoms compared to children with moderate asthma, due to lower levels of vitamin D in their blood, according to researchers in ...

Children who develop asthma have lung function deficits as neonates

March 30, 2012
Children who develop asthma by age seven have deficits in lung function and increased bronchial responsiveness as neonates, a new study from researchers in Denmark suggests.

New study finds obesity-asthma link in children varies by race/ethnicity

February 27, 2012
Children and adolescents who are overweight or obese are more likely to have asthma than their healthy weight counterparts, according to a new Kaiser Permanente Southern California study published in the online edition of ...

Heavy kids may not respond as well to asthma meds

March 4, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Overweight children may not respond as well to common asthma medicines known as inhaled corticosteroids, new research finds.

Recommended for you

Evening hours may pose higher risk for overeating, especially when under stress, study finds

January 16, 2018
Experiments with a small group of overweight men and women have added to evidence that "hunger hormone" levels rise and "satiety (or fullness) hormone" levels decrease in the evening. The findings also suggest that stress ...

Bariatric surgery prolongs lifespan in obese

January 16, 2018
Obese, middle-age men and women who had bariatric surgery have half the death rate of those who had traditional medical treatment over a 10-year period, reports a study that answers questions about the long-term risk of the ...

Sugar-sweetened drinks linked to overweight and obesity in children, adults: Analysis of new studies

December 23, 2017
A new review of the latest evidence on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs)- which includes 30 new studies published between 2013 and 2015 (and none of them industry sponsored) - concludes that SSB consumption is associated with ...

As income rises, women get slimmer—but not men

December 21, 2017
(HealthDay)—A comprehensive survey on the widening American waistline finds that as paychecks get bigger, women's average weight tends to drop.

Policy and early intervention can curb obesity rates

December 18, 2017
More information and emphasis on dietary lifestyle changes that prevent obesity, and its comorbidities, have not reduced the rise in obesity in U.S. adults and adolescents, according to a recent study in the New England Journal ...

Warning labels can help reduce soda consumption and obesity, new study suggests

December 15, 2017
Labels that warn people about the risks of drinking soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages can lower obesity and overweight prevalence, suggests a new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.