Genetics and Childhood Illnesses Linked as Causes for Asthma- Atlanta ENT

Research has shown that children that catch certain respiratory illnesses that include wheezing as a symptom are significantly more likely to develop asthma than children who do not contract the illness. Now, new research published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that when you add the genes of parents that have allergies or asthma to the mix, nearly all children who contract a cold with wheezing will end up with asthma by age six.

In the research study, scientists looked at a region of chromosome 17 that has been associated with a higher risk of childhood asthma. Two very common genes found on the chromosome seem to be the cause of wheezing when children are infected with rhinovirus, or the common cold.

In the study, researchers looked at two study groups. One group had 200 children with at least one parent with allergies or asthma. The second group consisted of Danish children who have mothers with asthma. The results were solid: children with one copy of the high-risk genetic variant for asthma 60% who wheezed when they caught a cold developed asthma, but 90% of children with two copies of the genetic variant that had rhinovirus with wheezing as a symptom developed asthma.

We found that the interaction between this specific wheezing illness and a gene or genes on a region of chromosome 17 determines childhood asthma risk. The combination of genetic predisposition and the child’s response to this infection has a huge effect,” said study author Carole Ober, a Blum-Riese Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Chicago in a statement.

The end result of the study showed that children who wheezed and had at least one parent with asthma or allergies were four times more likely to develop asthma. With this in mind, wheezing as a symptom with the common cold could be a strong indicator for asthma that could be used to diagnose and treat young patients.

Ramie Tritt, M.D., President, Atlanta ENT

You Might Also Enjoy...

Avoid Asthma Attacks with Better Indoor Air Quality

Tens of thousands of people suffer from asthma in the United States, with hundreds of those in Georgia. The instances of this disease are on the rise across the nation and the world. People who suffer from this illness have swollen and inflamed airways ...

How Do Chronic Sinus Issues Affect Overall Health

Anyone who has chronic sinusitis is quite familiar with the pressure behind the eyes, headaches, constant dripping nose and coughing that go hand in hand with the condition. Here are some things to look out for if you are affected by chronic sinusitis:

The Link Between Nasal Polyps and Snoring

Nasal polyps number among many causes of obstructions within the nasal passages. Such obstructions can lead to increased strain being required for the simple act of breathing. When asleep, this can often enough result in snoring.

Sleep Apnea May Increase Women’s Risk of Heart Disease

Sleep apnea is a silent affliction that affects millions of people every year. It often goes undiagnosed, and has been associated with many health problems from tiredness and lack of focus to high blood pressure to diabetes to mental and emotional problems

Help for Hives

You might think that you are the only one that has them, but you’re not. If you have hives, you are one of MANY! Hives (technically called “urticaria”) is a very common skin problem with the most common symptom being itchiness.