Impaired foetal growth increases risk of asthma

Oct 12, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new study from Karolinska Institutet (Sweden) shows that children born with low birth weight are at a higher risk of developing asthma later in life. The study, which is published in the journal Pediatrics, is based on data on the incidence of asthma in 10,918 twins from the Swedish Twin Registry.

Questionnaire data on asthma in 9- and 12- year old twins was linked to the national Swedish Medical Birth Registry which records, amongst other data, birth weight and (i.e. how long into the pregnancy the baby is born). Since twins have the same gestational age and share DNA, uterine environment and conditions of early infancy, twin studies are an excellent way to examine the relationship between foetal growth and childhood disease.

"Our study shows that there's a distinct correlation between foetal growth and asthma thats independent of gestational age and environmental or genetic factors," says Catarina Almqvist Malmros, paediatrician and Assistant professor at the Department of medical epidemiology and biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet.

According to the WHO some 300 million people currently suffer from asthma. It is the most common chronic disease among children, and the number of children with the condition has risen steadily during the last decades. At the same time, an increasing number of are being born with a low birth weight, a possible symptom of malnutrition in the womb. The study suggests that impaired foetal growth affects lung development.

More information: Ortqvist AK, Lundholm C, Carlström E, Lichtenstein P, Cnattingius S, Almqvist C, Familial factors do not confound the association between and childhood , Pediatrics 2009 Oct; 124(4):e737-43, Epub 28 September 2009

Provided by Karolinska Institutet (news : web)

Explore further: WHO: Ebola moving faster than control efforts (Update)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Caesarean sections associated with risk of asthma

Jun 18, 2008

Babies born by Caesarean section have a 50 % increased risk of developing asthma compared to babies born naturally. Emergency Caesarean sections increase the risk even further. This is shown in a new study based on data from ...

Fall babies: Born to wheeze?

Nov 21, 2008

It is said that timing is everything, and that certainly appears to be true for autumn infants. Children who are born four months before the height of cold and flu season have a greater risk of developing childhood asthma ...

Study links asthma and post-traumatic stress disorder

Nov 15, 2007

For the first time, a study has linked asthma with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among adults in the community. The study of male twins who were veterans of the Vietnam era suggests that the association between asthma ...

Obese moms, asthmatic kids

May 19, 2009

Babies born to obese mothers may have an increased risk of asthma, according to data from a new study to be presented on May 19 at the 105th International Conference of the American Thoracic Society in San Diego.

Recommended for you

WHO: Ebola moving faster than control efforts (Update)

2 hours ago

An Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 700 people in West Africa is moving faster than the efforts to control the disease, the head of the World Health Organization warned as presidents from the affected ...

Quick blood test for malaria

3 hours ago

Siemens is working on a procedure that would allow blood to be routinely tested for malaria. Physicians normally diagnose the tropical disease by using a microscope to search for parasites in blood samples. ...

User comments : 0