Obesity and asthma morbidity in a community-based adult cohort in a large Urban area: The chicago initiative to raise asthma health equity (CHIRAH)

Leslie C. Grammer, Kevin B. Weiss, Jennifer B. Pedicano, Linda G. Kimmel, Laura S. Curtis, Catherine D. Catrambone, Christopher S. Lyttle, Lisa K. Sharp, Laura S. Sadowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background . Urban minority populations experience increased rates of obesity and increased asthma prevalence and severity. Objective. The authors sought to determine whether obesity, as measured by body mass index (BMI), was associated with asthma quality of life or asthma-related emergency department (ED)/urgent care utilization in an urban, community-based sample of adults. Methods. This is a cross-sectional analysis of 352 adult subjects (age 30.9 ± 6.1, 77.8 females, forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) predicted 87.0 ± 18.5) with physician-diagnosed asthma from a community-based Chicago cohort. Outcome variables included the Juniper Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (AQLQ) scores and health care utilization in the previous 12 months. Bivariate tests were used as appropriate to assess the relationship between BMI or obesity status and asthma outcome variables. Multivariate regression analyses were performed to predict asthma outcomes, controlling for demographics, income, depression score, and β-agonist use. Results. One hundred ninety-one (54.3) adults were obese (BMI > 30 kg/m 2). Participants with a higher BMI were older (p .008), African American (p < .001), female (p .002), or from lower income households (p .002). BMI was inversely related to overall AQLQ scores (r -.174, p .001) as well as to individual domains. In multivariate models, BMI remained an independent predictor of AQLQ. Obese participants were more likely to have received ED/urgent care for asthma than nonobese subjects (odds ratio OR 1.8, p .036). Conclusions. In a community-based sample of urban asthmatic adults, obesity was related to worse asthma-specific quality of life and increased ED/urgent care utilization. However, compared to other variables measured such as depression, the contribution of obesity to lower AQLQ scores was relatively modest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-495
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Asthma
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Asthma
  • Health care disparities
  • Health outcomes
  • Obesity
  • Urban

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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