BMI at school age and incident asthma admissions in early adulthood: A prospective study of 310,211 children

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Background: Excess body weight in adulthood is associated with risk for asthma admission (AA). Our aim was to investigate if this association also applies to the relation between body mass index (BMI) in childhood and AAs in early adulthood (age 20–45 years). Methods: This was a prospective study of 310,211 schoolchildren (born 1930–1989) from the Copenhagen School Health Records Register. Height and weight were measured annually, and generated BMI z-scores were categorized as low (lower quartile), normal (interquartile) and high (upper quartile). Associations between BMI at ages 7–13 and AA were estimated by Cox regressions, and presented as hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Main outcome was incident hospital AAs (extracted from the Danish National Patient Register) in early adulthood. Results: During 4,708,607 person-years of follow-up, 1,813 incident AAs were observed. Nonlinear associations were detected between childhood BMI and AAs. The risk of AA increased for females in the highest BMI category in childhood, with the highest HR of 1.3 (95% CI 1.16–1.55) at the age of 13 years. By contrast, males in the low BMI category had a higher risk of AA in early adulthood, with the highest HR of 1.24 (95% CI 1.03–1.51) at the age of 12 years. Females with an increase in BMI between ages 7 and 13 years had an increased risk of AA compared with females with stable BMI (HR 1.28, 95% CI 1.10–1.50). Conclusion: The association between childhood BMI and AA in early adulthood is non-linear. High BMI increases the risk of AA in females, whereas low BMI increases the risk in males.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Epidemiology
Pages (from-to)605-612
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2018

    Research areas

  • Adiposity, Admissions, Asthma, BMI, Childhood, Sex

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