Quality of Life and Health Outcomes in Overweight and Non-Overweight Children With Asthma

Published:February 11, 2016DOI:



      During the past two decades, the number of children and adolescents who are obese has more than doubled. Following this trend in childhood obesity, there has been an alarming increase in the number of children with asthma who are overweight.


      The aim of this study was to examine the differences in quality of life (QOL) and health outcomes of obese and overweight children with asthma compared with normal-weight children with asthma using a descriptive comparative survey design.


      This comparative study consisted of 90 overweight and normal-weight 9- to 14-year-olds with asthma. Health outcomes examined included asthma-related missed number of school days, emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations, number of days wheezing, and number of night awakenings. QOL was measured using the Pediatric Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire.


      The obese group reported the highest percentage of ED visits, hospitalizations, and number of days wheezing compared with the normal-weight group. A risk ratio analysis showed that the obese group had an overall 2.73 (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.15, 3.63) times higher likelihood of going to the ED and a 2.46 (95% CI 1.97, 3.19) times higher likelihood of hospitalization than the overweight and normal-weight groups. Asthma severity was a significant predictor of overall QOL (β = −23.737, p = .002).


      The study results are consistent with other investigations that demonstrate that obese persons are at higher risk of experiencing severe asthma symptoms and support obesity as a potentially modifiable risk factor for asthma mitigation and prevention.

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      Amy Becker Manion, Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, Rush University, Chicago, IL.


      Barbara Velsor-Friedrich, Professor and Director of PhD Program, College of Nursing, Loyola University, Chicago, IL.