Burden of Obesity on Pediatric Inpatients with Acute Asthma Exacerbation in the United States

Yusuke Okubo, Kotaro Nochioka, Hiroshi Hataya, Hiroshi Sakakibara, Toshiro Terakawa, Marcia Testa

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64 Citations (Scopus)


Background Obesity and asthma are common health problems in the United States. Objective The objective of this study was to evaluate the clinical and economic burdens of obesity on hospitalized children with acute asthma exacerbation in 2012. Methods Hospital discharge records of patients aged 2 to 18 years with a diagnosis of asthma were obtained from the 2012 Kids' Inpatient Database, wherein the data were compiled by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The discharge records were weighted to estimate the number of hospitalizations because of asthma exacerbations in the United States. To classify whether the patient was obese or not, we used the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification code 278.0x. We compared the odds of using noninvasive or invasive mechanical ventilation, mean total charges for inpatient service, and length of hospital stay between obese and nonobese patients. Results A total of 74,338 patient discharges were extracted. Of these, 3,494 discharges were excluded because of chronic medical conditions. Using discharge weight variables, we estimated a total of 100,157 hospitalizations with asthma exacerbations among children aged between 2 and 18 years in 2012. Obesity was significantly associated with higher odds of using mechanical ventilation (odds ratio 1.59, 95% CI 1.28-1.99), higher mean total hospital charges (adjusted difference: $1588, 95% CI $802-$2529), and longer mean length of hospital stay (0.24 days, 95% CI 0.17-0.32 days) compared with nonobesity. Conclusions These findings suggest that obesity is a significant risk factor of severe asthma exacerbation that requires mechanical ventilation, and obesity is an economically complicating factor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1227-1231
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Nov 1


  • Asthma
  • Cost
  • Invasive
  • Obesity
  • Ventilation


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