Overweight mothers are more likely to have kids with asthma

Women who are overweight are more likely to have a child with asthma, a new study has found.

This may be because they produce a hormone called leptin, which could make the airways of their unborn child more sensitive.

One in nine Australians has asthma. Almost half of the hospitalisations for asthma were for kids aged between 0-14.

Infant with asthma inhalator
Source: Istock.

Women who are overweight are more likely to have kids with breathing issues

Researchers from the University of Tsukuba found that women who were obese before conceiving were 28% more likely to have a child diagnosed with asthma before the age of three.

67,000 women took part in the study, which was published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Interestingly, they found that asthma is more common among boys during childhood.

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“[These findings] matter because asthma is often a lifelong condition which can disrupt everyday life,” says co-author Dr Emiko Noguchi.

“Women should be careful about their weight before pregnancy to reduce their own risk of many conditions, and may also reduce the risk of their child having asthma.”

However, it’s important to note the study was done in Japan, where being overweight is far less common than in the western world.

More about asthma

For more information (including signs, symptoms and treatment) visit Asthma Australia’s website. Be sure to chat with your doctor if you are worried your child (or yourself).

  • 1 in 9 Australians has asthma. That is around 2.5 million people.
  • It’s a respiratory condition affecting the airways of the lungs which causes breathlessness, tightness in the chest and wheezing.
  • Asthma can affect anyone of any age. However, according to Asthma Australia, children under 15 are more likely to be hospitalised than those aged 15 and over.

For more information (including signs, symptoms and treatment), visit Asthma Australia’s website.

Chat with your doctor if you are worried about your child (or yourself).

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