Sunday February 17, 2019

Premature Birth Linked to Asthma

Children born very early - before 32 weeks gestation - had approximately three times the risk of developing asthma/wheezing disorders compared with babies born at term

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Maternal vitamin C treatment can cut babies' risk of heart disease. Pixabay

Is your kid suffering from asthma and wheezing disorders? The reason may be the child’s premature birth, research showed.

The risk of developing these conditions increases as the degree of prematurity increases, the study showed.

The findings are based on a systematic review of 30 studies that investigated the association between pre-term birth and asthma/wheezing disorders among 1.5 million children.

Worldwide, more than 11 percent of babies are born premature.

Across the studies that ranged a time span from 1995 to present, 13.7 percent of premature babies developed asthma or wheezing disorders compared with 8.3 percent of babies born at term, representing a 70 percent increased risk.

baby
The risk of developing these conditions increases as the degree of prematurity increases, the study showed. Pixabay

“Children born very early – before 32 weeks gestation – had approximately three times the risk of developing asthma/wheezing disorders compared with babies born at term,” the study showed.

“As asthma is a chronic condition, our findings underscore the need to improve our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the association between preterm birth and asthma/wheezing disorders in order to develop preventive and therapeutic interventions,” said Aziz Sheikh of Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) in Boston, US.

Also Read: Parental Interaction With Baby Important For Development

The study results were published by researchers at BWH in collaboration with investigators at the Maastricht University Medical Centre and Maastricht University School of Public Health in the Netherlands and The University of Edinburgh in Britain. (IANS)

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Fish Oil Supplements May Not Improve Asthma Symptoms, Says Study

New therapeutic interventions to reduce airway inflammation and facilitate improved asthma control are greatly needed, the team suggested

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Man about to use asthma inhaler

Fish oil supplements, once touted as the natural substance that could alleviate many of your chronic ailments, may not prove to be helpful to obese/overweight adolescents and young adults with uncontrolled asthma, new research suggests.

The study, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, showed that four grams of fish oil a day for six months did not improve asthma control, as measured by a standard asthma control questionnaire, breathing tests, urgent care visits and severe asthma exacerbations.

“We don’t know why asthma control in obese patients is more difficult, but there is growing evidence that obesity causes systemic inflammation,” said lead author Jason E. Lang, Associate Professor at the Duke University in the US.

“Because the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil have anti-inflammatory properties, we wanted to test whether fish oil would have therapeutic benefits for these patients,” Lang added.

The team included nearly 100 overweight or obese participants aged 12 to 25 and found that the participants had poor asthma control despite using a daily inhaled corticosteroid to control their asthma.

For every three participants assigned to take fish oil for 25 weeks, one was assigned to take the soy oil placebo.

Supplements
Fish oil may not improve asthma symptoms: Study. Pixabay

In addition, the team also looked at whether a variant in the gene ALOX5 affected the findings. It is known that mutations in the gene can reduce responses to anti-leukotriene drugs.

Leukotrienes are inflammatory molecules that play a critical role in triggering asthma attacks. In this study, the ALOX5 variant did appear to be linked to leukotriene production but not to the effectiveness of fish oil in providing asthma control.

The researchers noted that the study’s negative findings may not be the last word on fish oil and asthma and acknowledged that larger doses of fish oil over a longer period of time may produce a different result.

Also Read- Aspirin, ibuprofen Can Improve Survival Rate of Cancer Patients

However, based on the current study, “there is insufficient evidence for clinicians to suggest to patients with uncontrolled asthma that they should take daily fish oil supplements to help their asthma”, said Lang.

New therapeutic interventions to reduce airway inflammation and facilitate improved asthma control are greatly needed, the team suggested. (IANS)