Results of a recent study assessing asthma phenotypes in a cohort representative of the United States population determined that 50% of patients were considered to be of the allergic-not-obese asthma phenotype while 20% of patients were categorized in an obesity-related phenotype.

The study authors examined data obtained from the 2007-2008 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) to determine the prevalence, risk factors, as well as the severity of asthma phenotypes. The four phenotypes examined were: not-allergic-not-obese, allergic-not-obese, obese-not-allergic, and allergic-and-obese.   

A total of 4,427 patients aged 10- to 17-years old with parent-reported asthma were included in the study. “We described sociodemographic and health risk factors of each phenotype and then applied logistic and ordinal regression models to identify associated risk factors and level of severity of the phenotypes,” the study authors explained. 

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Results of the study found that “the association between race and phenotype is statistically significant (P<.0001); white children with asthma were most likely to have allergic-not-obese asthma while black and Hispanic children with asthma were most likely to have the obese-non-allergic phenotype (P<.001).”

Data analysis also found that the prevalence of ADD/ADHD was much higher in patients in the allergic-not-obese asthma phenotype group (OR: 1.50; CI: 1.14, 1.98; P=.004). Additionally, patients in the obese-and-allergic asthma phenotype were found to be at the highest risk for more severe versus mild asthma (OR: 3.34; CI: 2.23, 5.01; P<.001).

“Allergic-not-obese asthma comprised half of our studied asthma phenotypes, while obesity-related asthma (with or without allergic components) comprised one-fifth of asthma phenotypes in this cohort representative of the US population,” the study authors concluded. They added, “Future management of childhood asthma might consider more tailoring of treatment and management plans based upon different childhood asthma phenotypes.”


Ross MK, Romero T, Sim MS, Szilagyi PG. Obese and allergic related asthma phenotypes among children across the United States. Journal of Asthma. DOI: 10.1080/02770903.2018.1466317.