Autumn Babies at Greater Risk of Asthma
Posted by Jamie on Friday, November 21, 2008
A study released today by Vanderbilt University suggests that babies born during the fall before the normal cold and flu season are at a greater risk of developing asthma. These children have a 30 percent higher risk for asthma, because of the common infections associated with the cold and flu season. Dr. Tina Hartert, the director of the center for Asthma Research at Vanderbilt University, and her colleagues studied the medical records of 95,000 infants and their mothers in the state of Tennessee.

Why is this study important? The researchers think that environmental exposure to infections may activate genes that predispose children to developing asthma. Nearly every child is infected by respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, between the ages of 3 and 6 months. The study found that autumn babies were at the highest risk for exposure to RSV.

“All infants are exposed to this and it is potentially preventable,” according to Dr. Hartert. “What we were able to show was the timing of birth and the risk of developing asthma moves in time almost to the day with the peak of these viral infections each winter.”

The next step for the researchers is to prove that preventing the infection at this early stage will prevent asthma development. With this research and development, we might be able to prevent a lifelong, deadly disease. We can lessen the impact of breathing problems and help people lead healthier lives.

1 Comment
On 1/7/2009 Ray from Texas wrote:
For me, HFA in Albuterol inhalers may as well stand for High cost For Asthmatics or Hangman For Asthmatics or Harsh/Hard to Swallow for Asthmatics or Hell For Asthmatics. From what I have read on the internet, many asthmatics have already died due to the unavailability of CFC inhalers. People who are responsible for approving this new type of Albuterol propellant as a substitute for the old CFC type are either ignorant of the importance of this inhaler to asthmatics or do not care. I can't help but wonder if they may have been helped in their decision-making by pharmaceutical companies who will make profits of billions of dollars, under the guise of environmental protection.<br> <br>Have these people rid the world of all other sources of environmentally harmful chemicals and pollutants so that now they have to concentrate on the CFC in asthma inhalers that millions of people around the world, many of them children, depend on to take their next breaths a little more easily? Why don’t they go after other environmentally harmful sources that are not so important to the lives of millions of humans? Why not go after some of the frivolous human activities that contribute to harming the environment? Why not target their energies in more meaningful ways like the elimination of nuclear bombs that some day will destroy the earth as we know it, whether it is environmentally clean or not??!! Why not go after chemical and biological weapons?<br> <br>Rather than trying to make prescription drugs more affordable to the population, the government authorities have taken an effective inhaler out of the market and replaced it with one that is less effective, more expensive and, most importantly, causing many preventable deaths.<br>How many asthmatics' deaths are acceptable to the authorities who made this decision?<br><br>I keep reading, through the media, and hear from doctors and pharmacists, that the HFA type inhaler is as good as the CFC type. As an asthmatic, it is very upsetting to me to have to listen to this, and I am sure thousands of asthmatics, especially the ones with more severe types of asthma, will agree with me.<br> <br>Has any one taken a poll of the opinion of these asthma sufferers?<br> <br>The Albuterol inhaler is a fast-acting medication, and an asthmatic can immediately tell if it works or not. It does not leave any room for guess work, so why not ask some asthmatics about the results of the new HFA rather than the drug makers and bureaucrats in the government?<br>
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