Excess weight can increase odds of asthma in women

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New York, April 2 (IANS) Obesity and a common endocrine system disorder among women of reproductive age – polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) – are independently linked with asthma, says a study.

Women with PCOS may have enlarged ovaries and the disorder is associated with problems such as irregular menstrual cycles, excessive hair growth, acne, obesity, reduced fertility and increased risk of diabetes.

“A greater proportion of women with polycystic ovary syndrome report asthma, and the results of this study suggest that asthma is associated with PCOS and excess weight,” said lead author Anju Elizabeth Joham from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

“These findings highlight that polycystic ovary syndrome is a complex disorder that includes significant inflammatory underpinnings. These results also raise awareness of the need to consider higher risks in other health areas in this condition,” Joham said.

The findings are scheduled to be presented today at ENDO 2016, the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, in Boston.

The researchers assessed the prevalence of asthma in reproductive-age women. They also investigated the impact of obesity on the prevalence of asthma in the women who had PCOS compared with those who did not have PCOS.

To examine these links, Joham and her colleagues analysed data from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH), an ongoing national periodic survey that has been following more than 58,000 Australian women of various ages since 1996 and periodically collecting data from them about the factors that influence their health.

The researchers randomly selected the survey responses of 9,145 women about their polycystic ovary syndrome and asthma status.

The study showed that PCOS status and body mass index (BMI) in both the overweight and obese categories were independently associated with asthma.

Polycystic ovary syndrome was associated with increased odds of asthma and BMI in the overweight and obese ranges was also associated with increased odds of asthma, the study showed.

Obesity can be predicted as early as six months of age

New York, April 2 (IANS) Severe obesity can be indentified in babies using a simple body mass index measurement as early as six months of age, reveals a new study.

The study showed that weight gain during infancy differs in those who eventually develop obesity.

“BMI at six, 12 or 18 months of age above the 85th percentile on the growth chart can accurately predict children at risk for early childhood obesity,” said led study author Allison Smego from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Centre, Ohio, US.

“These children have a high lifetime risk for persistent obesity and metabolic disease and should be monitored closely at a very young age,” Smego added.

All participants were selected based on BMI between the ages of two and six, which included 783 lean and 480 severely obese participants.

“It’s not currently recommended to measure BMI in children under the age of two, but we say it should be because we now know it predicts obesity risk later,” Smego explained.

The trajectories of BMI in children who become severely obese by the age of six began to differ from children who remain normal weight at about four months of age.

The results of the study were validated in a population of young children seen in a hospital-based pediatric clinic in Denver to ensure that the findings applied to other groups of children.

“Pediatricians can identify high-risk infants with BMI above the 85th percentile and focus additional counselling and education regarding healthy lifestyles toward the families of these children. Our hope in using this tool is that we can prevent obesity in early childhood,” Smego stated.

The authors recommend pediatricians measure BMI during infant well-child visits.

The study was presented on April 1 at the national Endocrine Society meeting in Boston.

Overfed foetus may become an overweight adolescent

London, April 2 (IANS) A foetus that is fed with excess nutrition is likely to become an overweight adolescent, new research has found, raising the importance of increasing maternal health before and during pregnancy to improve the health of the child.

The findings of the study showed that higher levels of blood markers in the umbilical cord of the pregnant mother makes the baby fattier, as well as puts the baby in danger of becoming obese in late childhood and adolescence.

Higher levels of Leptin and Adiponectin — proteins involved in the regulation of fat and umbilical cord blood markers — at birth led to greater fat in the child both at the age of 9 and 17.

“Foetal overnutrition may facilitate foetal growth and fat accretion, as determined by cord leptin and birthweight, and may program greater adiposity in the child that extends into childhood and adolescence,” said lead author Joy Simpson, clinical research fellow at University of Glasgow, in Britain.

Also, being over weight at birth also corresponded to the increase of fat mass in children at ages 9 and 17.

Birthweight was positively associated with fat mass, waist circumference and body mass index at age 9 and 17,” Simpson added.

The results also showed that leptin was positively associated with fat mass, waist circumference and body mass index at age 9 and 17, but that the effect was diminished when they adjusted for pregnancy characteristics.

Adiponectin was not associated with any measures at age 9, but at age 17, the cord-blood protein was positively associated with fat mass and waist circumference.

Moreover, at age 17, the effect size after adjusting for maternal and pregnancy characteristics was strengthened.

To examine the association of cord-blood leptin, adiponectin and birth weight with childhood and adolescent fat, the team measured blood taken from the umbilical cord at birth in 5,011 mothers and children.

“This work highlights the importance of optimising maternal health before and during pregnancy to improve offspring health and limit the translation of greater adiposity onto future generations,” Simpson suggested.

The results were presented at ENDO 2016, the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in Boston, US.

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