J Asthma. 2022 Nov 4:1-17. doi: 10.1080/02770903.2022.2144354. Online ahead of print.
Objectives: Childhood asthma is one of the most common non-communicable diseases in the world. Several perinatal and postnatal factors have been associated with increased risk of developing childhood asthma. The present study aims to assess whether childhood overweight and obesity and abnormal birth anthropometric measures affect the risk of developing childhood asthma in pre-school age. Methods: In the present study, 5215 pre-school children at the age of 2-5 years were enrolled after applying several inclusion and exclusion criteria and they examined whether they present asthma symptoms. Non-adjusted and adjusted statistical analysis was performed to assess whether perinatal and postnatal factors increase the risk of developing childhood asthma. Results: A prevalence of 4,5% of childhood asthma was recorded. Among children diagnosed with asthma, 19,4% were affected by overweight and 13,9% were obese. Childhood overweight/obesity was indepedently associated with a 76% higher risk of childhood asthma than normal weight. Abnormal birth anthropometric measures, i.e. birth weight, length and head circumference, were independently associated with higher odds (87%, 29% and 23%, respectively) of childhood asthma than normal ranges. Conclusion: This is a cross-sectional, nationally representative study which supported evidence that childhood overweight/obesity and abnormal birth anthropometric measures may independently increase the risk of childhood asthma in pre-school age. Emergent health policies and strategies are recommended to promote healthy lifestyle, preventing childhood obesity at the early stages of life.