Revista da Associação Médica Brasileira
Print version ISSN 0104-4230
ANTONIO, Maria Ângela Góes Monteiro et al. Evaluation of the nutritional state of the children and adolescents with asthma. Rev. Assoc. Med. Bras. [online]. 2003, vol.49, n.4, pp. 367-371. ISSN 0104-4230. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-42302003000400025.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to analyze the nutritional state of children and adolescents with asthma, and to relate this to patient age at the onset of disease, severity of the disease, family per capita income, and the level of maternal schooling. METHODS: A cross sectional study involved 66 patients from he Immunology, Allergy and Pulmonology outpatient clinic of the Hospital das Clínicas of the State University of Campinas (HC/Unicamp). All of the patients suffered from atopic asthma and ranged in age from 4 to 14 years old. The patients were compared to 124 controls. RESULTS: There were no differences among male patients and the controls in the distribution of the z-scores for weight/age (p=0.24), height/age (p=0.61), body mass index (p=0.21), upper arm circumference (p=0.94) and triceps skinfold (p=0.49) in relation to disease severity, age at the first occurrence of disease, family per capita income, and the level of maternal schooling. Similarly, there were no significant differences in the z-scores for weight/age (p=0.13), height/age (p=0.46), body mass index (p=0.13), upper arm circumference (p=0.06) among female patients and their controls. However, there was a difference (p=0.002) between the triceps skinfold of female patients (-0.74±0.84) and the controls (0.17±1.21). No child with asthma was obese (z-scores for body mass index ³ 2). There were no significant differences in of the anthropometrical measurements among patients in relation to family per capita income, the level of maternal schooling, severity of the disease, and age at first occurrence the disease, but the mean weight of boys suffering from moderate asthma was lower than that of the other patients (p=0.02). CONCLUSIONS: The nutritional status of the patients studied was satisfactory so that their body composition was unaffected by the disease, on environment, or by any interaction between these two factors. Our results reinforce the view that an anthropometrical evaluation should be done periodically to assess the consequences of the disease and the impact of any interventions and therapeutic measures used. This will provide a better evaluation of the patient's overall health.
Keywords : Asthma; Growth; Children; Adolescent; BodyComposition.