Obesity and asthma in children: current and future therapeutic options.
With the childhood prevalence of obesity and asthma increasing, it is important for pediatric professionals to appreciate that obesity modifies the diagnosis and management of asthma. These disease modifications present challenges to clinical management, including decreased responsiveness to controller therapy and decreased quality of life compared with normal-weight asthmatic children. While consensus guidelines do not currently suggest specific changes in asthma management for obese patients, management of some patients may be improved with consideration of the latest evidence. This article briefly summarizes what is known regarding the complex relationship between obesity and asthma in children, and discusses practical issues associated with the diagnosis and effective clinical management of asthma in obese children. On average, obese patients with asthma do not respond as well to inhaled corticosteroid therapy. Management approaches including weight loss and routine exercise are safe, and may improve important asthma outcomes. Asthma providers should learn to facilitate weight loss for their obese patients. In addition, pharmacologic interventions for weight loss in obese asthma, though not currently recommended, may soon be considered.
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