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Asthma may lead to nearsightedness at young age

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New York: People with asthma, sleep apnea or Down syndrome, have much higher odds of developing an eye condition that causes serious progressive nearsightedness at a relatively young age, new research has revealed.

The researchers also confirmed that men are at greater risk of contracting the condition called keratoconus than women.

Keratoconus makes the rounded, clear covering of the eye, called the cornea, weak, which leads it to become cone-shaped over time.

The last decade has brought new treatment options, but many people do not receive a diagnosis early enough to take full advantage of them, the researchers pointed out.

“Eye health relates to total body health, and we as opthalmologists need to be aware of more than just eyeballs when we see patients,” said first author of the study Maria Woodward, assistant professor at the University of Michigan Medical School in the US.

The study also showed that people with diabetes appear to have a lower risk of the disease.

The findings support the idea that while diabetes causes other negative effects to the eye, the cornea may be strengthened as a by-product of those changes.

The researchers arrived at their findings by looking at data from health insurance claims, half of them from more than 16,000 people with confirmed keratoconus and half from an equal number of people with similar characteristics but no keratoconus.

This allowed them to see which characteristics and medical conditions were most associated with keratoconus, and which were not.

The people in the study were mostly in their 30s and 40s.

The study was published online in the journal Ophthalmology. (IANS)

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Fish during pregnancy may protect baby from asthma

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Fish during pregnancy may protect baby from asthma

New York, Oct 3: Women who consume fish during pregnancy are just as likley to protect their offspring from developing asthma as those who consume fish oil supplements, suggests a new study.

Pregnant women who consume high doses of omega-3 fatty acids in the third trimester may help protect their kids from developing breathing problems in their early childhood, according to the study.

“With almost equal to slightly higher cost, consuming 8-12 ounces (2-3 servings) of fish with low mercury levels a week not only may attain the same asthma protection, but also strengthen the nutritional benefits to infant growth and development,” said Richard Lockey, Professor at the University of South Florida in the US.

The study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, was conducted in three groups of women in their third trimester.

The first group consumed omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil daily while the second group took a placebo. The third group was named the “no oil” group who were allowed to consume either fish or fish oil supplements as per their choices.

The researchers found that the children in the fish oil and the “no oil” groups took less asthma medication as they aged to 24 years old, inferring both groups developed less asthma.

“Omega-3 fatty acids cannot be synthesised by humans and therefore are essential nutrients which are derived exclusively from marine sources,” said iChen Hsing Lin from the University of South Florida.(IANS)

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