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An Examination of Comorbid Asthma and Obesity: Assessing Differences in Physical Activity, Sleep Duration, Health-related Quality of Life, and Parental Distress.

J Asthma. 2013 Dec 10.

Fedele DA, Janicke DM, Lim CS, Abu-Hasan M.

University of Florida, Department of Clinical & Health Psychology, Gainesville, FL.

Objective: Compare youth with comorbid asthma and obesity to youth with obesity only to determine if differences exist in body mass index, dietary intake, levels of physical activity, sleep duration, and health-related quality of life. Levels of parent distress were also compared.

Methods: Participants included 248 children (n = 175 in Obesity group; n = 73 in Asthma + Obesity group) with a BMI > 85th percentile for age and gender, and their participating parent(s) or legal guardian(s). Measures of child height and weight were obtained by study personnel and Z-scores for child body mass index were calculated using age- and gender-specific norms. Child physical activity and sleep duration were measured via accelerometers. Dietary intake, health-related quality of life, and parent distress were assessed via self-report.

Results: The Asthma + Obesity group evidenced significantly higher body mass index scores, and had lower sleep duration. There was a non-statistically significant trend for lower levels of physical activity among children in the Asthma + Obesity group. Dietary intake, health-related quality of life, and parent distress did not differ between groups.

Conclusions: Youth with comorbid asthma and obesity are at increased risk for negative health and psychosocial difficulties compared to youth who are overweight or obese only. Professionals providing treatment for youth with asthma are encouraged to assess the implications of weight status on health behaviors and family psychosocial adjustment.

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