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Original Research (Original Article) 


Amro Saad Ahmed Alzahrani et al, 2019;3(11):947–951.

International Journal of Medicine in Developing Countries

Associations between asthma, overweight and physical activity in adults: a cross sectional study

Amro Saad Ahmed Alzahrani1*, Suzan Adel Abu Alainai2, Ahmed Abdullah Yahya Ojaem3, Abdullah Khalid Almarzoqi4, Mona Ali Khbrani5, Naif Shalan Alalyani3, Jawaher Marzouq Almutairi6, Alahmadi Fahad Abdullah M7

Correspondence to: Amro Saad Ahmed Alzahrani

*General Practioner, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Email: donamor88 [at] hotmail.com

Full list of author information is available at the end of the article.

Received: 09 September 2019 | Accepted: 19 September 2019


ABSTRACT

Background:

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease; it, along with obesity, represents a significant public health problem. Obesity results from a sedentary lifestyle and lack of physical activity. This study aims to investigate the association between asthma, overweight, and physical activity.


Methodology:

This is a retrospective cross-sectional study conducted from May to August 2019. Demographics and clinical data of participants were collected.


Results:

The study included 200 participants; half of the participants (50%) were in the age range of 20–30 years, and the male gender represented 62.5% of all the participants. Half of the participants (50%) were obese, and more than half had asthma (70%), whereas only 29.5% of the participants were performing physical activity. There was a significant correlation between Body Mass Index and the prevalence of asthma (p = 0.04).


Conclusion:

There was a significant association between asthma and obesity in adults, but there was no association between asthma and physical activity.


Keywords:

Asthma, obesity, physical activity, association.


Introduction

Asthma represents a global major public health problem [1]. It is a chronic inflammatory airway disorder that affects millions of individuals around the world [2]. It is one of the top 30 highest-burden diseases based on the global burden of disease study in 2010 [3]. In Saudi Arabia, asthma is in the 19th and 26th ranks regarding disability-adjusted life years and deaths, respectively [3,4]. The global prevalence of asthma varies around the world; it ranges from 1% to 20% for children and adults [5]. The variation in asthma prevalence depends on the changes in environmental conditions in different countries as well as the use of different epidemiological definitions and measurement tools for asthma [2]. A study from Saudi Arabia in 2012 reported that the asthma prevalence in adults was not known, but the overall incidence in children ranged from 8% to 20% in a different study [6]. In 2013, a national Saudi household survey showed that asthma was prevalent among 4.05% of the Saudi population whose age was 15 years and older [7]. Obesity is another global significant public health problem among both adults and children [1]. In the Saudi study, it was found that obesity was prevalent among 28.7% of 10,735 individuals, and it was more prevalent among females [8]. Another Saudi research reported a high prevalence of overweight and obesity among 54.3% of the participants in Al Kharj [9]. The prevalence of obesity in rural Saudi areas was 4%, and it was higher and reached 10% in western areas, whereas it increased in the eastern region to 14%, and this reflects the variation in the prevalence of obesity among different areas, even in the same country [10]. Body Mass Index (BMI) is affected by several determinants, either environmental or genetic; these determinant factors include physical activity, diet, co-morbidities, and gender [11]. Several studies suggested that there is an association between both obesity and asthma [12]. Both asthma and obesity were reported to be associated with each other in many cross-sectional and prospective cohort studies [13,14]. The current study was performed to assess the association between asthma, overweight, and physical activity in adults.


Methodology

This is a retrospective cross-sectional study, which was conducted on adults, from May to August 2019. Data were collected from patients’ files; ethical approval was obtained before starting the study. The data collected included age, gender, BMI, smoking status, asthma status, and physical activity status.

Data were saved in an excel sheet then transferred to SPSS program version 21 to be analyzed. Numbers and percentages were used to represent data; correlations were performed using Chi-square test, p-value was significant at ≤0.05.


Results

The current study includes the data of 200 participants, demographics, and clinical characteristics of participants are shown in Table 1. Regarding the age of half of the participants, 100 (50%) were in the age range of 20–30 years, and regarding gender, males were more dominant than females 125 (62.5%) versus 75 (37.5%), respectively. Less than half of the participants (80) were smokers (40%). Regarding BMI, the normal and overweight participants were equal in number, each represented 50 individuals (25%), whereas obese individuals represented half of the participants, i.e., 100 (50%) (Figure 1). More than half of the participants 140 (70%) had asthma (Figure 2), the majority of asthma patients 100 (71.4%) had asthma since 2010, and half of them were suffering asthma complications 70(50%). There were only 59 individuals (29.5%) who used to practice physical activity (Figure3) and almost half of these participants, 30 (50.8%) were practicing it for a quarter an hour. More than half of all the participants were spending a quarter an hour in transportation.

The correlations between asthma, obesity, and physical activity were investigated and are shown in Table 2. There was a significant difference regarding the BMI of those suffering from asthma and those who suffer no asthma (p = 0.04). Whereas regarding physical activity, there was no significant difference between the prevalence of asthma.

Table 1. Demographics and clinical characteristics of participants.

Characteristics N (%)
Age
20–30 100 (50)
31–40 50 (25)
41–50 50 (25)
Gender
Male 125 (62.5)
Female 75 (37.5)
Smoking
Yes 80 (40)
No 120 (60)
Suffering asthma since when (140 patients)
1990–1999 12 (8.6)
2000–2009 28 (20)
2010–2019 100 (71.4)
Do you have asthma complications?
Yes 70 (50)
No 70 (50)
If yes, the time spent in practice (59)
Quarter an hour 30 (50.8)
Half an hour 20 (33.9)
One hour 9 (15.3)
Time spent in transportation
Quarter an hour 122 (61)
Half an hour 50 (25)
One hour 28 (14)

Figure 1. Prevalence of obesity.

Figure 2. Prevalence of asthma.

Figure 3. Practice of physical activity.


Discussion

The current study was conducted to investigate the correlation between asthma, overweight, and physical activity. The study included 200 participants; half of the participants were obese, whereas 25% of the participants were overweight. Asthma was more prevalent among the participants, as 70% of them were suffering from asthma. Regarding physical activity, only 29.5% of the participants reported practicing physical activity, and almost half of them (50.8%) spent 15 minutes in practicing it. In the current study, the majority of asthma patients had asthma since 2010, and half of the asthma patients were suffering from asthma complications. According to The World Health Organization, the prevalence of obesity among individuals with an age range of 18–21 years in Saudi Arabia was 23% and 30% in males and females, respectively [15]. One study reported a high prevalence of obesity in the Eastern region of Saudi Arabia that reached 64.5% [16]. A previous Saudi study found that the prevalence of asthma among adults, diagnosed by physicians, was 11.3% [2]. The current study revealed a significant association between BMI and asthma (p = 0.04), as the vast majority of obese individuals, were suffering from asthma, whereas 21 individuals of those with overweight (21 out of 50) had asthma.

Table 2. Correlation between asthma, obesity, and physical activity.

Variables Asthma prevalence N (%) p-value
Yes 140 No 60
BMI 0.04
Normal (50) 28 (20) 22 (36.7)
Overweight (50) 21 (15) 29 (48.3)
Obese (100) 91 (65) 9 (15)
Physical activity 0.06
Yes (59) 29 (20.7) 30 (50)
No (141) 111 (79.3) 30 (50)

Regarding physical activity, there was no significant association between asthma and physical activity. In a Brazilian study, it was found that there was a high prevalence of obesity in patients with asthma [12]. A study from Norway showed that obesity was a risk factor for adult females and males [17]. A study conducted on women and men showed that the prevalence of asthma increased significantly in women with BMI of 25 or higher, while in men the incidence of asthma was raised in the lowest weight category [18]. Another two studies revealed a higher prevalence of asthma with increasing BMI in women but not in men [19,20]. Although in the current study, we did not find any association between physical activity and asthma, in previous studies on children, it was reported that children with severe asthma are less prone to participate in physical activity [21,22]. This can be explained by the fact that our study conducted on adults, not children, and this point of differentiation is possible to affect the results. There are findings reported from research conducted on adult women, to assess the effects of regular physical activity on the onset of asthma, support our conclusions and hypothesis. The study reported that physical activity was not associated with adult-onset asthma [23]. However, another study reported that physical activity resulted in improvements in asthma in adults [24]. In a Swedish study, it was found that there was no difference in the number of individuals with a low level of physical activity between those with and without asthma [25].


Conclusion

Asthma and obesity were highly prevalent among adults in our study; few participants were practicing physical activity. A significant association was found between asthma and obesity, whereas there was no significant association between physical activity and asthma.


List of Abbreviations:

BMI Body mass index

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest regarding the publication of this article.


Funding

None.


Consent for publication

Informed consent was obtained from all the participants.


Ethical approval

The current research was conducted uder the supervision of Ibn Sina National College,Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.


Author details

Amro Saad Ahmed Alzahrani1, Suzan Adel Abu Alainai2, Ahmed Abdullah Yahya Ojaem3, Abdullah Khalid Almarzoqi4, Mona Ali Khbrani5, Naif Shalan Alalyani3, Jawaher Marzouq Almutairi6, Alahmadi Fahad Abdullah M7

  1. General Practioner, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  2. Intern, Ibn Sina National College, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  3. Intern, King Khalid University, Abha, Saudi Arabia
  4. Intern, Imam University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  5. SHO FM- Armed Force Hospital Southern Region, Khamis Mushait, Saudi Arabia
  6. General Physician, Al Yamamah Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  7. Intern, General Practice, Medina, Saudi Arabia

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How to Cite this Article
Pubmed Style

Alzahrani ASA, SAAA, Ojaem AAY, AKA, Khbrani MA, Alalyani NS, Almutairi JM, M AFA. Associations between asthma,overweight and physical activity in adults: a cross sectional study. IJMDC. 2019; 3(11): 947-951. doi:10.24911/IJMDC.51-1568032918


Web Style

Alzahrani ASA, SAAA, Ojaem AAY, AKA, Khbrani MA, Alalyani NS, Almutairi JM, M AFA. Associations between asthma,overweight and physical activity in adults: a cross sectional study. https://www.ijmdc.com/?mno=64784 [Access: October 15, 2021]. doi:10.24911/IJMDC.51-1568032918


AMA (American Medical Association) Style

Alzahrani ASA, SAAA, Ojaem AAY, AKA, Khbrani MA, Alalyani NS, Almutairi JM, M AFA. Associations between asthma,overweight and physical activity in adults: a cross sectional study. IJMDC. 2019; 3(11): 947-951. doi:10.24911/IJMDC.51-1568032918



Vancouver/ICMJE Style

Alzahrani ASA, SAAA, Ojaem AAY, AKA, Khbrani MA, Alalyani NS, Almutairi JM, M AFA. Associations between asthma,overweight and physical activity in adults: a cross sectional study. IJMDC. (2019), [cited October 15, 2021]; 3(11): 947-951. doi:10.24911/IJMDC.51-1568032918



Harvard Style

Alzahrani, A. S. A., , . S. A. A. A., Ojaem, . A. A. Y., , . A. K. A., Khbrani, . M. A., Alalyani, . N. S., Almutairi, . J. M. & M, . A. F. A. (2019) Associations between asthma,overweight and physical activity in adults: a cross sectional study. IJMDC, 3 (11), 947-951. doi:10.24911/IJMDC.51-1568032918



Turabian Style

Alzahrani, Amro Saad Ahmed, Suzan Adel Abu Alainain, Ahmed Abdullah Yahya Ojaem, Abdullah Khalid Almarzoqi, Mona Ali Khbrani, Naif Shalan Alalyani, Jawaher Marzouq Almutairi, and Alahmadi Fahad Abdullah M. 2019. Associations between asthma,overweight and physical activity in adults: a cross sectional study. International Journal of Medicine in Developing Countries, 3 (11), 947-951. doi:10.24911/IJMDC.51-1568032918



Chicago Style

Alzahrani, Amro Saad Ahmed, Suzan Adel Abu Alainain, Ahmed Abdullah Yahya Ojaem, Abdullah Khalid Almarzoqi, Mona Ali Khbrani, Naif Shalan Alalyani, Jawaher Marzouq Almutairi, and Alahmadi Fahad Abdullah M. "Associations between asthma,overweight and physical activity in adults: a cross sectional study." International Journal of Medicine in Developing Countries 3 (2019), 947-951. doi:10.24911/IJMDC.51-1568032918



MLA (The Modern Language Association) Style

Alzahrani, Amro Saad Ahmed, Suzan Adel Abu Alainain, Ahmed Abdullah Yahya Ojaem, Abdullah Khalid Almarzoqi, Mona Ali Khbrani, Naif Shalan Alalyani, Jawaher Marzouq Almutairi, and Alahmadi Fahad Abdullah M. "Associations between asthma,overweight and physical activity in adults: a cross sectional study." International Journal of Medicine in Developing Countries 3.11 (2019), 947-951. Print. doi:10.24911/IJMDC.51-1568032918



APA (American Psychological Association) Style

Alzahrani, A. S. A., , . S. A. A. A., Ojaem, . A. A. Y., , . A. K. A., Khbrani, . M. A., Alalyani, . N. S., Almutairi, . J. M. & M, . A. F. A. (2019) Associations between asthma,overweight and physical activity in adults: a cross sectional study. International Journal of Medicine in Developing Countries, 3 (11), 947-951. doi:10.24911/IJMDC.51-1568032918