Study questions whether obesity or asthma comes first in children



Obesity and asthma are health risks that continue to increase every year, especially in children.

Obesity and asthma are health risks that continue to increase every year, especially in children. While popular medications such as Advair are great methods of treatment for respiratory complications, researchers continue to exam the correlation between being overweight and having asthma. According to the American Lung Association, there are currently 7.1 million children under the age of 18 living with symptoms of asthma. This ever-increasing number was one of the reasons a new study aimed to explore the link between obesity and breathing restrictions.

In a study published in the medical journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, researchers analyzed how childhood obesity is one of the main producers of asthma, rather than the other way around. This correlation has never been thoroughly studied specifically with children, but finding a sufficient answer may be able to help both of these conditions in kids before it becomes a full-fledged epidemic.

There were essentially two main factors that played into the conclusion that obesity develops before asthma. One was that evidence displayed that a rapid growth of body mass index typically begins to develop in some children during their first two years, which in turn spawned an increase in breathing restrictions by the time they turned 6 years old. The other indicating evidence was that the composition of excess fat within a child was eventually found to significantly affect lung function, progressively worsening into asthma.

Dr. Perdita Permaul, a registered allergist and lead author of the study, described how continuous overwhelming evidence progressively accumulated into a sheer sign that obesity is one of the primary risk factors for childhood asthma.

"The relationship between obesity and asthma in adults, which shows that being overweight and obese can precede the onset of asthma, is supported by a number of studies," Permaul said in a statement. "There isn't as much evidence for children, but the progression from obesity to asthma, rather than the other way around, seems probable."

Eliminating asthma triggers
Obesity isn't only a risk factor for asthma in children. Staying active is a major element toward alleviating symptoms of asthma, and the American Lung Association suggests that people with respiratory complications should still be receiving adequate weekly exercise, preferably around 30 minutes a day, five times a week. If physical activity is known to provoke shortness of breath or coughing episodes, it's advised to take your medication at least 15 to 30 minutes prior to working out, to ensure that symptoms won't suddenly flare-up.

Other common asthma triggers generally include food allergies, tobacco, pollen and even the weather. It's important to limit your time spent outside when pollen season is in full swing, and try to avoid second hand tobacco smoke at all costs. If your house is full of pets, make sure you are vacuuming and dusting as often as possible, so animal dander and saliva isn't the root of your asthma problems.

Of course, treatment is generally best served through medication, and finding out from your physician if Advair is right for your asthma may provide the necessary relief you need to stay symptom-free.