When a severe asthma exacerbation occurs in an obese pediatric patient, it is unknown if this body type persists in future encounters. Persistent obesity can lead to future asthma exacerbations. The main study objective is to evaluate the persistence of a BMI percentile ≥ 85th in children 5 years after the first reported diagnosis of status asthmaticus. We hypothesized that a hospital admission for status asthmaticus was associated with persistence of a BMI percentile ≥ 85 .
This was a long-term retrospective observational cohort study utilizing TriNetX ® electronic health record (EHR) data. We included subjects, aged 2 to 18 years of age with a diagnosis of status asthmaticus. Study population was divided into two groups based on their admission body mass index percentile: [underweight/healthy weight (<85 percentile) and overweight/obese (≥85 percentile)] and evaluated for the following outcomes: age, race, ethnicity, diagnostic codes, and BMI percentiles (initially and 5 years after diagnosis of status asthmaticus).
A total of 129 subjects (n%) [76 (58.9%) underweight/healthy weight and 53 (41.1%) overweight/obese] were included. Children that were initially overweight/obese with status asthmaticus had significantly increased odds of continuing to be overweight/obese 5 years after diagnosis compared to children who were underweight/healthy weight at baseline [OR= 7.50 (95% Confidence Interval, 3.20-17.60; p<0.001)].
Overweight/obese asthmatic children are at risk of continuing to be obese several years after being diagnosed with status asthmaticus. This study reinforces the notion that when an asthmatic obese child presents with status asthmaticus, a thorough evaluation of nutrition, physical activity, and asthma control should be considered to reduce the risk of persistent obesity and possibly future asthma exacerbations.

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