Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health vol. 43, no. 5, pp. 369 - 376
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine the associations of current body weight and body mass index (BMI) at age three and birth weight in developing chronic respiratory illness in childhood and identify possible interaction underlying its mechanism. Methods: The study was carried out with 422 children who were enrolled in a hospital-based birth cohort. Birth related anthropometric data were collected at birth. At age 3 years, the presence of respiratory symptoms was evaluated by using the Korean version of core questionnaire for wheezing and asthma from the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC). Physical examination was carried out to measure the child s weight and height. Results: Children in the lowest birth weight tertile (aOR = 3.97, 95% Cl = 0.94-16.68) or highest BMI tertile (aOR = 3.68, 95% Cl = 1.24-10.95) at three years of age were at an increased risk of chronic respiratory illness. Children who were initially in the lowest birth weight tertile but now belong in the highest weight tertile had higher risk of chronic respiratory illness compared to those who had remained in the middle tertile (OR=16.35, 95% Cl = 1.66-160.57). Conclusions: Children with lower birth weight or higher BMI were at an increased risk of chronic respiratory illness. In addition, children who were initially in the lowest birth weight tertile but are now in the highest weight tertile had higher risk of chronic respiratory illness compared to those who remained in the middle tertile.