Childhood asthma linked to obesity in mothers
A recent study conducted by Umea University in Sweden determined that children born to obese mothers or have a body mass index of at least 35 are 61 percent more likely to develop asthma by the time they are 10 years old.
According to the study, if a mother is obese, her child is more likely to suffer from the same condition, which in turn affects the child's immune system and its ability to combat allergies.
"The results suggest that campaigns to reduce obesity prior to conception may have a beneficial effect on childhood asthma," study leader Adrian Lowe told Reuters.
The study may have significant implications in the United States, where the childhood asthma rate in 2005 was just less than 9 percent, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. If more mothers avoid obesity, their children are more likely to be spared from asthma and other ailments.
According to the Mayo Clinic, many children outgrow asthma symptoms, although those with severe afflictions are less likely to do so. Other asthma-like symptoms in children, such as coughing and wheezing, cannot be definitively traced to asthma. Sometimes they are actually the result of other illnesses, such bronchitis and pneumonia, which are particularly common among children.
If a child is struggling with asthma symptoms, parents may want record instances of these symptoms and report them back to their doctor so proper treatment options can be explored. Software is available from online vendors that allows a parent to track their child's peak flow readings and other important data that can help a doctor to refine treatment methods.
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