MONDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Maternal pre-pregnancy weight and obesity is associated with an increase in asthma symptoms in adolescents, according to a study published online Aug. 15 in issue of Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.
Swatee P. Patel, from the University of Greenwich in the United Kingdom, and colleagues investigated the association between maternal pre-pregnancy weight and body mass index (BMI), and asthma symptoms in 6,945 adolescents aged 15 to 16 years who were born within the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986. Logistic regression analysis was used to examine the association between relevant prenatal factors and adolescent asthma symptoms.
The investigators found that 10.6 percent of the adolescents reported wheeze in the past year and 6.0 percent reported physician-diagnosed asthma. High maternal pre-pregnancy BMI was a significant predictor of adolescent wheezing with an increase of 2.7 percent and 3.5 percent per kilogram per square meter unit for ever and current wheezing, respectively. Adjusting for potential confounders further increased the risk to 2.8 percent (ever wheeze) and 4.7 percent (current wheeze). High maternal pre-pregnancy weight in the top tertile significantly increased the odds of current wheeze in adolescents by 20 percent. The risk further increased after adjusting for potential confounders (odds ratio, 1.52). Similar results were reported for current asthma. The significant associations were observed only among adolescents without a parental history of atopy and not among those with a parental history of atopy.
"Prenatal exposure to maternal overweight and obesity is an important risk of asthma symptoms later in life through to adolescence," the authors write.
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