Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Allergies and wheezing illnesses in childhood may be determined in the womb

Date:
October 25, 2010
Source:
University of Southampton
Summary:
A child's chances of developing allergies or wheezing is related to how he or she grew at vital stages in the womb, according to scientists.

A child's chances of developing allergies or wheezing is related to how he or she grew at vital stages in the womb, according to scientists from the University of Southampton.

The new research, funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the British Lung Foundation, and undertaken at Southampton General Hospital, reveals that fetuses which develop quickly in early pregnancy but falter later in pregnancy are likely to go on to develop allergies and asthma as children. Scientists believe this is due to changes in the development of their immune system and lungs.

A fetus that grows too slowly in the womb is also more likely to become an infant who wheezes with common colds, possibly as a result of narrower airways in its lungs.

"Childhood allergies and asthma have become an epidemic in developed countries over the last 50 years. This research shows that in order to combat this, we need to understand more about how babies develop in the womb," comments Keith Godfrey, Professor of Epidemiology and Human Development at the University of Southampton and Deputy Director of the NIHR Nutrition Biomedical Research Unit at Southampton General Hospital.

"We already know that a baby's growth in the womb has an important influence on susceptibility to obesity and heart disease in later life, but this research provides some of the most direct evidence yet that changes in how the baby's immune system and lungs develops before birth can predispose them to some of the commonest childhood illnesses."

For the research, published in the journal Thorax, University of Southampton scientists at the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit based at Southampton General Hospital studied more than 1,500 three year-old children who were taking part in the Southampton Women's Survey, the UK's largest study of women and their offspring. The Survey has studied how a woman's diet and lifestyle before and during pregnancy affects their baby's growth in the womb, and is monitoring how these early life influences determine health and development during childhood.

The team discovered evidence of sensitivity to common allergens (atopy) in 27 per cent of children who had developed quickly in early pregnancy but faltered later in pregnancy, as compared with 4 per cent in those with a slow early growth trajectory and quicker growth in late pregnancy.

Professor Stephen Holgate, from the Medical Research Council, says: "Unravelling the complex interplay between immunity and disease, over the course of a person's life, including before they are even born, is a core part of the MRC's research strategy. Furthering our understanding of the body's natural resilience is critical to developing new advances in the treatment of infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases and allergies."

Ian Jarrold, Research Manager at the British Lung Foundation, adds: "Children's lung health can be complex so this research, funded by the British Lung Foundation, is a considerable step forward in understanding why some children are more likely to develop allergies and asthma.

"The most commonly reported long-term illnesses in children and babies are conditions of the respiratory system. Increasing our understanding of childhood lung conditions is vital for developing new ways of diagnosing and treating lung diseases earlier in life."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. K. C. Pike, S. R. Crozier, J. S. A. Lucas, H. M. Inskip, S. Robinson, G. Roberts, K. M. Godfrey. Patterns of fetal and infant growth are related to atopy and wheezing disorders at age 3 years. Thorax, 2010; DOI: 10.1136/thx.2010.134742

Cite This Page:

University of Southampton. "Allergies and wheezing illnesses in childhood may be determined in the womb." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101025090025.htm>.
University of Southampton. (2010, October 25). Allergies and wheezing illnesses in childhood may be determined in the womb. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101025090025.htm
University of Southampton. "Allergies and wheezing illnesses in childhood may be determined in the womb." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101025090025.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) Conjoined twins Emmett and Owen Ezell were separated by doctors in August. Now, nearly nine months later, they're being released from the hospital. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins