Asthma control and obesity in urban African American children

Deborah G. Loman, Christina G. Kwong, Lisa D. Henry, Christina Mahl, Lisa Meadows, Alysa G. Ellis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the relationship between body mass index (BMI), gender, age, controller medication use, household smoke exposure, season, and allergic rhinitis status with asthma control in a group of lower income, African American children. We hypothesized that non-obese children would have better asthma control. Methods: Baseline data from a longitudinal study of children in a school-based asthma program in a Midwest urban area were analyzed. 360 children, ages 4–15 years, who were enrolled in either the 2012–2013 or 2013–2014 program were included. Asthma control was classified using criteria from the 2007 National Asthma Education and Prevention Program. Multiple ordinal regression was performed. Results: The median age was 9 years, 61% had well-controlled asthma, and 29% were obese. The model included all main effects plus two interaction terms and was significant (χ2(7) = 22.17, p =.002). Females who were normal weight (OR, 2.78; 95% CI, 1.38–5.60, p =.004) or overweight (OR, 3.12; 95% CI, 1.26–7.72, p =.014) had better asthma control than obese females. For males, there were no differences by BMI category but males without allergic rhinitis had significantly better asthma control (OR, 2.23; 95% CI, 1.25–3.97, p =.006) than those with allergic rhinitis. Conclusions: Non-obese girls and non-allergic males had better asthma control. Promotion of healthy activity and nutrition as well as management of allergic rhinitis should be part of the asthma plan in school-based programs in low income urban areas. Innovative approaches to address asthma care in low income populations are essential.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)578-583
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Asthma
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 3 2017


  • Allergic rhinitis
  • gender
  • household smoke
  • low-income
  • obesity
  • pediatrics
  • urban


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