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Impaired Fetal Growth Increases Risk Of Asthma

Date:
October 13, 2009
Source:
Karolinska Institutet
Summary:
Children born with low birth weight are at a higher risk of developing asthma later in life. The study is based on data on the incidence of asthma in 10,918 twins from the Swedish Twin Registry.

A new study from Karolinska Institutet shows that children born with low birth weight are at a higher risk of developing asthma later in life. The study, which is published in the journal Pediatrics, is based on data on the incidence of asthma in 10,918 twins from the Swedish Twin Registry.

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Questionnaire data on asthma in 9- and 12- year old twins was linked to the national Swedish Medical Birth Registry which records, amongst other data, birth weight and gestational age (i.e. how long into the pregnancy the baby is born). Since twins have the same gestational age and share DNA, uterine environment and conditions of early infancy, twin studies are an excellent way to examine the relationship between foetal growth and childhood disease.

"Our study shows that there's a distinct correlation between foetal growth and asthma that is independent of gestational age and environmental or genetic factors," says Catarina Almqvist Malmros, paediatrician and Assistant professor at the Department of medical epidemiology and biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet.

According to the WHO some 300 million people currently suffer from asthma. It is the most common chronic disease among children, and the number of children with the condition has risen steadily during the last decades. At the same time, an increasing number of children are being born with a low birth weight, a possible symptom of malnutrition in the womb. The study suggests that impaired foetal growth affects lung development.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Karolinska Institutet. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ortqvist et al. Familial Factors Do not Confound the Association Between Birth Weight and Childhood Asthma. Pediatrics, 2009; 124 (4): e737 DOI: 10.1542/peds.2009-0305

Cite This Page:

Karolinska Institutet. "Impaired Fetal Growth Increases Risk Of Asthma." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091012135510.htm>.
Karolinska Institutet. (2009, October 13). Impaired Fetal Growth Increases Risk Of Asthma. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091012135510.htm
Karolinska Institutet. "Impaired Fetal Growth Increases Risk Of Asthma." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091012135510.htm (accessed January 26, 2015).

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