The purpose of this study was to describe the proportion of overweight (body mass index > 85th percentile) inner-city children who have objective measures of airway obstruction as determined by spirometry.
After an informed consent was obtained,one hundred nine children healthy children (age: 14.7 ± 1.6 years) from one secondary school were enrolled into the study. Children with recent respiratory infections or chest deformities were excluded. The standing heights and weights were measured, and body mass index (BMI) was calculated. Spirometry was performed according to the American Thoracic Society guidelines. We defined asthma as a forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) < 80% predicted, and FEV1/forced vital capacity (FVC) > 5% lower than predicted for age, sex, and race.
Eighty children (74%) were African-American and 29 children (26%) were white, with a mean BMI of 26 ± 7.8 kg/m2 (BMI percentile: 77 ± 23). There were 61 female and 48 male. 58 (53%) children were overweight. 12 (11%) children met the criteria for asthma, of which 9 (9.5%) were overweight. Baseline FEV 1 percent predicted (87± 6 vs. 83 ± 7 %, p=0.03), FEV 1 /FVC (93 ± 6 vs. 87 ± 8, p<0.001), and FEV 1 percent predicted following albuterol administration (94 ± 7 vs. 89 ± 7 %, p=0.03) were all lower in children who were overweight compared to lean children.
In inner-city minority children, overweight is associated with reduced lung function as demonstrated by spirometry.
Many overweight inner-city children could benefit from diagnosis and treatment of asthma to improve symptoms and quality of life.
G.Y. Zureikat, This study was supported, in part, by a grant from GlaxoSmithKline