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Nutritional status and dietary restrictions of children with asthma in comparison to healthy children

Authors:

Imalke Kankananarachchi ,

University of Ruhuna, LK
About Imalke
Faculty of Medicine
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Nayana Liyanarachchi,

University of Ruhuna, LK
About Nayana
Faculty of Medicine
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Ganganath Gunathilaka,

Teaching Hospital Karapitiya, LK
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C. J. Wijesinghe,

Faculty of Medicine, University of Ruhuna, LK
About C. J.
Faculty of Medicine, University of Ruhuna
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Pushpika Jayawardana,

University of Ruhuna, LK
About Pushpika
Faculty of Medicine
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R. M. A. Chamika,

University of Ruhuna, LK
About R. M. A.
Faculty of Medicine
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R. N. Jayarathna,

Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, Colombo, LK
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N. D. Vithanage,

Teaching Hospital Karapitiya, LK
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T. S. D. Amarasena,

University of Ruhuna, LK
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Faculty of Medicine
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U. K. Egodage,

University of Ruhuna, LK
About U. K.
Faculty of Medicine
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I. V. Devasiri

University of Ruhuna, LK
About I. V.
Faculty of Medicine
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Abstract

Background: Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the small airways. It has an impact on childhood nutrition due to the chronic nature of the disease.


Objectives: To describe the nutritional status and dietary practices among children aged 5-14 years with and without asthma.


Method: A comparative cross-sectional study was done among 86 children with asthma attending paediatric clinics, Teaching Hospital Karapitiya and 86 age and sex-matched healthy school children in the Bope-Poddala health unit area. Anthropometric measurements were interpreted using the World Health Organisation growth charts. Thinness, severe thinness, stunting, overweight and obesity were compared between the two groups.


Results: A total of 172 children, aged 5-14 years, was enrolled in the study. Of them 86 (50%) were asthmatics. Eighty (93%) children in the asthma group belonged to the category of mild persistent asthma. Normal body mass index (BMI) was found among 29 (37.3%) asthmatics and 49 (57%) healthy children (p=0.002). Prevalences of stunting, overweight and thinness in the diseased group were 7 (8.1%), 12 (14%) and 45 (52.3%) respectively. In the healthy group prevalences of stunting, overweight and thinness were 4 (4.7%), 4 (4.7%) and 33 (38.4%) respectively. This was not statistically significant. Dietary restrictions were practised by 62 (72%) asthmatics and 9 (9.3%) healthy children (p=<0.0001). Among children with asthma, no statistically significant associations were observed between the nutritional abnormalities and the duration of inhaler therapy, inhaler dose or the presence of food restrictions. 


Conclusions: There were no statistically significant differences in stunting, overweight, obesity and thinness between children with and without asthma. Duration of inhaled corticosteroid therapy and steroid dose showed no relationship with nutritional abnormalities. Dietary restrictions were significantly commoner in children with asthma but there was no association between dietary restrictions and nutritional abnormalities among them.


Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 2022l; 51(3): 351-357

How to Cite: Kankananarachchi, I., Liyanarachchi, N., Gunathilaka, G., Wijesinghe, C.J., Jayawardana, P., Chamika, R.M.A., Jayarathna, R.N., Vithanage, N.D., Amarasena, T.S.D., Egodage, U.K. and Devasiri, I.V., 2022. Nutritional status and dietary restrictions of children with asthma in comparison to healthy children. Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 51(3), pp.351–357. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljch.v51i3.10220
Published on 05 Sep 2022.
Peer Reviewed

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