There is a markedly increased risk for poor response to inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) among children with asthma and a high BMI, according to a study presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress 2021. Researchers estimated the association between BMI z-score and ICS response using Mendelian randomization methods. The analysis included data from five cohorts totaling 1,511 children (aged 2-16) with asthma using ICS. The pooled mean BMI z-score was 0.69, with the proportion of poor ICS response ranging from 20% to 80% across studies. In a meta-analysis, the odds of poor response for each standard deviation increase in BMI z-score was 2.31, with similar results seen in sensitivity analyses. “Our results might be the catalyst that parents and their children need to modify their diet and increase exercise,” the study authors wrote.

Patients’ Workplaces May Trigger Asthma

A patient’s place of work may bring on or exacerbate asthma, according to a study presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress 2021. The small study identified three key causes of occupational asthma. First, triggers found inside the office, such as mold, printer toner, floor tile adhesive, and cleaning products. Second, triggers from the ventilation system, including mold in air conditioning and ventilation shafts installed incorrectly. And third, triggers from the surrounding environment, including nearby workshops, paint, and vehicle fumes. If employers didn’t make adjustments to support workers with occupational asthma, employees were 100 times more likely to quit, the study found. The study team suggests that patients discuss with the employer changes that can be made, including removing sources of exposure, such as eliminating mold and remediating sources of moisture that contribute to mold; changing to less irritating substances; and using masks or personal protective equipment.