BMI predicts exercise induced bronchoconstriction in asthmatic boys

Wilma J. van Veen*, Jean M.M. Driessen, Elin T.G. Kersten, Janneke C. van Leeuwen, Marjolein G.J. Brusse-Keizer, Wim M.C. van Aalderen, Bernard J. Thio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Exercise induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) is a frustrating morbidity of asthma in children. Obesity has been associated with asthma and with more severe EIB in asthmatic children.

Objectives: To quantify the effect of BMI on the risk of the occurrence of EIB in children with asthma.

Methods: Data were collected from six studies in which exercise challenge tests were performed according to international guidelines. We included 212 Children aged 7-18 years, with a pediatrician-diagnosed mild-to-moderate asthma.

Results: A total of 103 of 212 children (49%) had a positive exercise challenge (fall of FEV1 ≥ 13%). The severity of EIB, as measured by the maximum fall in FEV1, was significantly greater in overweight and obese children compared to normal weight children (respectively 23.9% vs 17.9%; P = 0.045). Asthmatic children with a BMI z-score around +1 had a 2.9-fold higher risk of the prevalence of EIB compared to children with a BMI z-score around the mean (OR 2.9; 95%CI: 1.3-6.1; P < 0.01). An increase in BMI z-score of 0.1 in boys led to a 1.4-fold increased risk of EIB (OR 1.4; 95%CI: 1.0-1.9; P = 0.03). A reduction in pre-exercise FEV1 was associated with a higher risk of EIB (last quartile six times higher risk compared to highest quartile (OR 6.1 [95%CI 2.5-14.5]).

Conclusions"The severity of EIB is significantly greater in children with overweight and obesity compared to non-overweight asthmatic children. Furthermore, this study shows that the BMI-z-score, even with a normal weight, is strongly associated with the incidence of EIB in asthmatic boys.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1130-1134
JournalPediatric pulmonology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent
  • Asthma
  • Children
  • Obesity


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