Genetic Approach Identifies Distinct Asthma Pathways in Obese vs. Normal Weight Children


The pathogenesis of asthma in the context of excess body weight may be distinct from asthma that develops in normal weight children. The study's objective was to explore the biology of asthma in the context of obesity and normal weight status using genetic methodologies. Associations between asthma and SNPs in 49 genes were assessed, as well as, interactions between SNPs and overweight status in child participants of the Greater Cincinnati Pediatric Clinic Repository. Asthma was significantly associated with weight (OR = 1.38; P = 0.037). The number of genes and the magnitude of their associations with asthma were notably greater when considering overweight children alone vs normal weight and overweight children together. When considering weight, distinct sets of asthma-associated genes were observed, many times with opposing effects. We demonstrated that the underlying heterogeneity of asthma is likely due in part to distinct pathogenetic pathways that depend on preceding/comorbid overweight and/or allergy. It is therefore important to consider both obesity and asthma when conducting studies of asthma. 

This publication has been peer reviewed.
Publication Type: 
Journal Article
Butsch Kovacic M.
Martin LJ
Biagini Myers JM
He H
Lindsey M
Mersha TB
Khurana Hershey GK
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