Childhood obesity and asthma control in the GALA II and SAGE II studies

Luisa N. Borrell*, Elizabeth A. Nguyen, Lindsey A. Roth, Sam S. Oh, Haig Tcheurekdjian, Saunak Sen, Adam Davis, Harold J. Farber, Pedro C. Avila, Emerita Brigino-Buenaventura, Michael A. LeNoir, Fred Lurmann, Kelley Meade, Denise Serebrisky, William Rodriguez-Cintron, Rajesh Kumar, Jose R. Rodriguez-Santana, Shannon M. Thyne, Esteban G. Burchard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Rationale: Obesity is associated with increased asthma morbidity, lower drug responsiveness to inhaled corticosteroids, and worse asthma control. However, most prior investigations on obesity and asthma control have not focused on pediatric populations, considered environmental exposures, or included minority children. Objectives: To examine the association between body mass index categories and asthma control among boys and girls; and whether these associations are modified by age and race/ethnicity. Methods: Children and adolescents ages 8-19 years (n = 2,174) with asthma were recruited from the Genes-environments and Admixture in Latino Americans (GALA II) Study and the Study of African Americans, Asthma, Genes, and Environments (SAGE II). Ordinal logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (OR) and their confidence intervals (95% CI) for worse asthma control. Measurements and Main Results: In adjusted analyses, boys who were obese had a 33% greater chance of having worse asthma control than their normal-weight counterparts (OR, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.04-1.71). However, for girls this association variedwith race andethnicity (P interaction = 0.008). When compared with their normal-weight counterparts, obese African American girls (OR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.41- 1.05) were more likely to have better controlled asthma, whereas Mexican American girls had a 1.91 (95% CI, 1.12-3.28) greater odds of worse asthma control. Conclusions: Worse asthma control is uniformly associated with increased body mass index in boys. Among girls, the direction of this association varied with race/ethnicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)697-702
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013


  • Age
  • Asthma control
  • Obesity
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Sex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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