Information is lacking regarding recognition and treatment of overweight and obesity in children hospitalized for asthma. The study objectives were to determine the current practice of recognition, diagnosis, and treatment of overweight and obesity for children hospitalized for asthma and to describe demographic, asthma, and weight characteristics for these patients.


A retrospective record review was conducted for children admitted to the hospital with asthma in 2012. Charts were reviewed for evidence of recognition, diagnosis, and treatment of overweight and obesity. Subjects were classified into age-adjusted Centers for Disease Control and Prevention weight categories based on BMI percentile and chronic asthma severity categories according to National Asthma Education and Prevention Program guidelines.


A total of 510 subjects aged 3 to 17 years were studied. Obesity was present in 19.6% and overweight in 13.3% of subjects. BMI percentile was recorded in only 3.3% of all charts, in only 11% of subjects with obesity, and in 0% of subjects with overweight. BMI percentile was documented more often in subjects with severe obesity (P = .013) and with moderate to severe persistent asthma (P = .035). Only 9 of 168 subjects who were overweight or obese (5.6%) were given a discharge diagnosis indicating overweight or obesity, and 14 (8.3%) received treatment. Chronic asthma severity differed by BMI weight category (P < .001), with a significant relationship between obesity status and chronic asthma severity in older subjects (P = .033). There were no differences in severity of acute episodes based on weight group.


Overweight and obesity were underrecognized, underdiagnosed, and undertreated in children hospitalized for asthma.

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