Even small amounts of excess weight can adversely affect lung function in Hispanic and African-American children who have a higher prevalence of asthma compared to their white counterparts, according to a Montefiore Medical Center study published in the February print issue of the Journal of Asthma.
The study analyzed data collected over four years from nearly 1,000 children in the Bronx, which has one of the highest rates of asthma in the United States.
“What we have learned from this study is that even small increases in weight can negatively impact lung function,” said Deepa Rastogi senior author of the study.
Asthma among normal-weight children is usually attributed to environmental factors like second-hand smoke and exposure to dust, animal dander, mold and roaches. Weight appears to have more of an impact on lung function in minority children than their white counterparts. In fact, airway obstruction may be experienced in both overweight and obese minority children compared to white children who are only obese.
The pulmonary function differences in the study may potentially be explained by ethnic differences in body shape and upper body fat distribution