Asthma exacerbations and body mass index in children and adolescents: Experience from a tertiary care center

Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health; Medical College Pakistan


The prevalence and incidence of asthma continue to rise globally. Obesity has been identified as a potential risk factor for asthma exacerbations. The association between body mass index (BMI) and asthma is not well studied in some regions. This study aims to investigate the impact of BMI in pediatric asthmatic patients. This retrospective study was conducted at the Aga Khan University Hospital from 2019 to 2022. Children and adolescents with asthma exacerbation were included. The patients were classified into four groups based on their BMI: underweight, healthy weight, overweight, and obese. The demographic characteristics, medications used, predicted FEV1 measurements, asthma exacerbations per year, length of stay per admission, and the number of patients requiring High Dependency Unit (HDU) care were recorded and analyzed. Our results demonstrated that patients in the healthy weight category had the highest percentage of FEV1 (91.46±8.58) and FEV1/FVC (85.75±9.23) (p<0.001). The study found a significant difference in the average number of asthma exacerbations per year between the four groups. Obese patients had the highest number of episodes (3.22±0.94), followed by the underweight group (2.42±0.59) (p<0.01). The length of stay per admission was significantly shorter for patients with a healthy weight (2.0±0.81), and there was a statistically significant difference observed in the number of patients requiring HDU care among the four groups, as well as in the average length of stay at the HDU (p<0.001). Elevated BMI is related to an increased number of annual asthma exacerbations, a low FEV1 and FEV1/FVC, increased length of stay at admission, and increased stay in the HDU


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Publication (Name of Journal)

Monaldi Archives for Chest Disease