The relationship between asthma symptoms and anthropometric markers of overweight in a Hispanic population

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol. 2003;13(2):118-23.


Background: Previous studies have revealed the relationship between asthma and obesity, but the relationship with other markers of overweight and obesity has not yet been investigated.

Objective: To establish the relationship between asthma symptoms and simple anthropometric indexes (BMI, waist circumference (WC), and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR)) as markers of overweight in an adult Hispanic population.

Methods: The data were obtained from the PRIT (Prevalence of Cardiovascular Risks in General Hospital Workers) 2001 survey. The participants were workers at the Hospital General de México in Mexico City and included 135 men and 398 women aged 43.8 +/- 11.9 and 43.0 +/- 10.5, respectively. Odds ratios for asthma symptoms at different BMI, WC, and WHR cutoff points associated with excessive weight were calculated. The likelihood ratios for having asthma symptoms in participants with various cutoff values of BMI, WC, and WHR also were calculated.

Results: Asthma symptoms were not related to anthropometric markers of overweight or obesity in men, while they were associated in women with WC cutoff levels of 80 and 85 cm, and BMI of 25 and 27 kg/m2. No level of WHR was related to asthma symptoms in women. In women, the likelihood ratio for asthma symptoms increased proportionally from WC levels of 73.5 cm up to 86 cm, while this risk increased significantly from BMI levels of 22 up to 29 kg/m2.

Conclusion: Overweight as assessed by BMI and WC (but not WHR) was related to asthma symptoms in women in the studied population.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anthropometry*
  • Asthma / complications*
  • Body Constitution
  • Body Mass Index
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mexico
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Sex Factors