March 6, 2017
Obese Girls More Prone to Allergic Disease, Opposite Correlation in Boys
Obese girls in an urban environment are more likely to suffer from atopic disease than controls, but obese boys from urban environments are less likely to have atopic disease than their counterparts of a healthy weight.
ATLANTA, GA –The effect of gender and obesity in atopic, or allergic, disease in children in an urban environment is relatively understudied. New research being presented at the 2017 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) Annual Meeting gives insight into which populations are most at risk of atopic disease and what can be done to prevent it.
The abstract “The Role of Gender in the Association Between Obesity and Atopic Disease in Urban Children” suggests that obesity has far more of an effect on girls in developing atopic disease than it does in boys.
The study included 113 children in an urban university hospital, 23% of which were obese. Of the total population, 45% were female and 55% were male. They were surveyed to determine their medical histories including whether they suffered from allergic rhinitis, eczema, asthma, food allergies and other markers of atopic disease and given a score based on how many symptoms of atopic disease they had.
Overall the obese children did not have more symptoms than children with healthier weights but there was a measurable difference between obese girls and the control group. On average, obese girls had an atopic disease score of 4.00 compared to the control group that had a score of 2.62.
Surprisingly, the opposite correlation was true for obese boys. On average they had a slightly lower atopic disease score than the boys in the control group.
“The data suggests that obesity and atopic disease are modified by the interaction effects of gender,” said Sairaman Nagarajan, MD, MPH. “These results suggest the need for continued surveillance of atopy-obesity, particularly in urban females, in whom weight reduction therapies may be more beneficial to fighting atopic diseases than in males.”
More research has to be conducted to conclude why obese girls are much more likely to suffer from atopic diseases than their control counterparts compared to boys.
To learn more about atopic disease, visit aaaai.org. Research presented at the AAAAI Annual Meeting is published in an online supplement to The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) represents allergists, asthma specialists, clinical immunologists, allied health professionals and others with a special interest in the research and treatment of allergic and immunologic diseases. Established in 1943, the AAAAI has more
than 6,900 members in the United States, Canada and 72 other countries. The AAAAI’s Find an Allergist/Immunologist service is a trusted resource to help you find a specialist.
- This study was presented during the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, March 3-6 in Atlanta. However, it does not necessarily reflect the policies or the opinions of the AAAAI.
- A link to all abstracts presented at the 2017 Annual Meeting is available at annualmeeting.aaaai.org.