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Obesity Tied to Greater Asthma Impairment in Preschoolers

But responsiveness to inhaled corticosteroids is not reduced for overweight/obese preschoolers

asthma inhaler

THURSDAY, Dec. 21, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For preschool children, overweight/obesity is associated with more asthma symptom days and exacerbations among those not treated with a daily controller, and inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are associated with significant improvements among overweight/obese preschoolers, according to research published online Dec. 19 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Jason E. Lang, M.D., M.P.H., from the Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, N.C., and colleagues examined the correlations between overweight/obesity and asthma severity and response to ICS in preschool children. Data were included from three large trials involving 2- to 5-year-old children, which compared annualized asthma symptom days and exacerbations among normal-weight and overweight/obese participants.

The researchers found that within the group not treated with a daily controller, overweight/obese children had significantly more asthma symptom days and exacerbations than normal-weight children. Overweight/obese and normal-weight children had similar asthma symptom days and exacerbations within the ICS-treated groups. In overweight/obese children, daily ICS versus placebo led to fewer annualized asthma symptom days and exacerbations, while similar protective ICS effects were less apparent in normal-weight children.

"In preschool children off controller therapy, overweight/obesity is associated with greater asthma impairment and exacerbations," the authors write. "However, unlike older asthmatic patients, overweight/obese preschool children do not demonstrate reduced responsiveness to ICS therapy."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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