Children with Asthma Fare Better with Specialized Treatment from Allergists

Clinical Advisor

November 10, 2015

Lauren Biscaldi

According to an analysis presented by Dr. Chitra Dinakar at the 2015 American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting, children with asthma who receive care from an allergist were less likely to experience exacerbations compared to those who are treated by a generalist. In turn, seeking care from an allergist may also decrease emergency room visits and physical restrictions.

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Kids With Dogs Are Less Likely to Have Asthma, Study Says

TIME

November 2, 2015

Alexandra Sifferlin

A team of Swedish scientists conducted a study to examine the association of early life contact with dogs and the influence it has on the development of asthma. The scientists studied information from over one million children and found that when comparing children who had dogs to those who do not, there were 15 percent fewer cases of asthma in children who have dogs.

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Have Asthma? There’s an App (and Device) For That

CBS St. Louis

October 22, 2015

A St. Louis-based start-up company has developed an app and a device for people with respiratory conditions to monitor lung function. The device, called “Wing,” is a pocked-sized sensor that plugs into a person’s smart phone, which connects to an app. Not only does it measure lung function, but the app also tracks the user’s medications, doses and what may trigger symptoms. Wing is currently pending FDA approval.

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Just 30 minutes a day: Regular exercise relieves asthma symptoms

Medical Xpress

October 7, 2015

A study published in BMJ Open Respiratory Research reports that 30 minutes of exercise per day can lead to better asthma control for patients. The study analyzed the exercise patterns of 643 participants who had asthma. Results indicate that people who engaged in sufficient levels of physical activity on a regular basis were two and a half times more likely to have good control over asthma symptoms than those who did not exercise. Researchers noted that regular exercise does not necessarily have to include an intense workout regime, and can be as simple as walking or doing yoga.

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Study: Good gut bacteria may affect babies’ risk of asthma

Associated Press

September 30, 2015

A study conducted by a pediatric immunologist from the University of British Columbia found that a lack of a certain amount of healthy intestinal germs early in life may increase a person’s risk of developing asthma later in life. The study tracked health records of 319 children from birth to age 3 and analyzed their stool samples during infancy to measure gut bacteria. Initial finds showed that 22 infants who were categorized as high-risk for developing asthma also had significantly lower levels of four types of gut bacteria compared to infants who were not at a high-risk of developing asthma. According to researchers, the reason for this correlation is due to the fact that trillions of microbes in the body and bacteria in the gut work to shape the immune system, which influences the risk of developing various diseases.

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Prep for fall allergies

WFMZ-TV 69 News

September 14, 2015

Nancy Werteen

According to Dr. Kathleen Ververeli of the Center for Allergy and Asthma Care, back-to-school season is an especially risky time for children with asthma, as kids can bring allergens to school on their clothing and the school facilities can contain dust mites. To help keep track of their kids’ asthma symptoms and stay prepared, Dr. Ververeli recommended parents visit GetSmartAboutAsthma.com for information on how to manage asthma and help prevent symptoms.

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Diary helps monitor asthma severity in young children

Healio

September 7, 2015

Ryan McDonald

According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Montreal, parents keeping a diary of asthmatic children’s symptoms proved to be an effective tool in identifying asthma exacerbations. Parents of 121 preschool-aged asthmatic children completed the Asthma Flare-up Diary for Young Children (ADYC) each day from the beginning of an upper respiratory tract infection until the child’s asthma symptoms subsided, and revealed significant differences in asthma exacerbations and upper respiratory infections.

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Farm dust protects kids against asthma, allergies

Yahoo! News

September 4, 2015

Researchers have long known that growing up on a farm seems to protect children against allergies and now they know the secret lies in the dust. Findings from a study published in the US journal Science could help lead to a vaccine against asthma one day. Scientists discovered that farm dust "makes the mucous membrane inside the respiratory tracts react less severely to allergens such as house dust mite" due to a protein called A20, the study said.

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How to prepare kids with asthma or allergies for the school year

HealthCanal

September 2, 2015

Corinne Ton That

For parents sending their children with asthma back to school, experts recommend giving their homes a deep clean to help remove household allergens such as dust mites and mold. Parents should also check the dates on their children’s inhalers, as many expire after one year, and encourage their children to wash their hands to help avoid colds and respiratory infections.

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Asthma cells scramble like 'there's a fire drill'

Medical Xpress

August 13, 2015

Karen Feldscher

According to a Harvard study, the cells that line the airways in patients with asthma are unusually shaped and move in an irregular, unusual pattern. Prior to the study, researchers believed the epithelial cells, which also line the major cavities of the body and most organs, were motionless. Studies support this theory in non-asthmatics, but in those with the condition, the cells are irregularly shaped and are very physically active.

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Facebook Reminders May Be Helpful for Teens with Asthma

Youth Health

August 6, 2015

Bernadette Strong

A study conducted by researchers at Partners for Connected Health and the Department of Pulmonology at Massachusetts General Hospital found that a Facebook group set up for asthma patients ages 14 to 17 years helped improve patient engagement and symptom control. Group members were able to take the Asthma Control Test (ACT) to help measure their level of asthma control, and received monthly reminders and occasional educational information. After 12 months, researchers found a 79 percent engagement level among participants, compared to the usual rate of 18 percent.

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What Is Climate Change Doing to Your Health?

U.S. News & World Report

July 9, 2015

Samantha Costa

According to the 2014 National Climate Assessment, compiled by a team of more than 300 experts and a federal advisory committee, new health threats will emerge and existing ones will become exacerbated as a result of climate change. Along with rising global temperatures comes ground-level ozone and air pollution, all of which contribute to decreased lung function and increased emergency room trips for those with asthma.

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Cesarean birth may raise baby's risk of asthma and obesity

Reuters

June 10, 2015

Lisa Rapaport

Delivery via Cesarean section may leave babies vulnerable to chronic health issues such as asthma, diabetes and obesity, according to a study from New York University. In analyzing past data, researchers found 9.5 percent of C-section babies develop asthma, compared to 7.9 percent of those delivered vaginally. While the research does not prove that C-sections cause illness later in babies’ lives, researchers believe the link is strong enough that expectant mothers should discuss the risks with their doctor, particularly if vaginal delivery is a viable option.

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Aerobic exercise seems to curb asthma severity and improves quality of life

Medical Xpress

June 10, 2015

Aerobic exercise may help decrease the severity of asthma symptoms and improve patients’ quality of life, according to a study published in the online journal Thorax. Though exercise has been recommended in the past for asthma patients, many avoid it for fear of exacerbating their symptoms. The study, which examined 43 patients between the ages of 20 and 59, found that asthmatic patients who completed a 35-minute treadmill session twice weekly for three months were able to tolerate twice the level of trigger factor before their asthma symptoms developed. They also reported improved quality of life and increased oxygen intake and aerobic power.

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Men with Asthma Less Likely to Develop Lethal Prostate Cancer

Newswise

May 13, 2015

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University have found men with a history of asthma were less likely than those without it to develop lethal prostate cancer. Researchers examined 47,880 participants’ medical records, and those patients filled out health questionnaires every two years. Researchers attribute this correlation to higher levels of immune cells in asthmatics, such as eosinophils or mast cells, which may attack tumor cells.

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Childhood Trauma May Raise Odds of Asthma

HealthDay News

April 3, 2015

Randy Dotinga

Children who experience trauma, such as divorce or death of a parent, are more likely to develop asthma than kids who do not experience these types of events. In a study of more than 92,000 children under the age of 18, about one third had experienced at least one traumatic event. One in four children exposed to five or more types of trauma had asthma, compared to 12 percent of those who had not experienced trauma at all. Though these results do not prove trauma causes asthma, it reveals an association between the two.

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Asthma very common among Olympic-level swimmers

Reuters

April 2, 2015

Kathryn Doyle

According to a study of Olympic athletes conducted by researchers at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, swimmers are more likely than competitors in other aquatic sports to have asthma. Of the swimmers studied, those who competed in endurance events were most likely to develop asthma. Researchers attribute this to the sport’s intensity and long hours of training, which require athletes to spend more time than others, such as divers, breathing in chlorine byproducts.

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Weight loss improves asthma severity in obese patients

Healio

March 13, 2015

Weight loss in obese asthma patients led to an improvement in asthma severity, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Ottawa, who followed 22 obese patients ranging in age from 18 to 75 years. Sixteen participants followed a weight loss program for three months, and the remaining participants served as controls. Researchers found that those who lost weight showed greater airway hyper-responsiveness, lung function, asthma control and quality of life.

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Pneumonia in Early Childhood Tied to Higher Odds of Asthma

HealthDay News

March 6, 2015

Alan Mozes

Children who contract pneumonia during the first three years of their lives may be at a higher risk of developing asthma, according to a study from the University of Arizona in Tucson. Researchers examined a pool of 1,250 men and women born between 1980 and 1984, all enrolled in the study from birth, and found that those who contracted pneumonia faced nearly double the risk of developing asthma or wheezing later in life. It is unclear, however, whether early respiratory illness predisposed the subjects to developing asthma, or if those who contracted pneumonia already had impaired lung function prior to developing any illnesses.

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Researchers Challenge Inner-City Asthma Theory

CBS News

January 20, 2015

Robert Preidt

A new study challenges the widely held belief that inner-city children have a higher risk of asthma simply because of where they live. Race, ethnicity and income have much stronger effects on asthma risk than where children live, the Johns Hopkins Children's Center researchers reported. The investigators looked at more than 23,000 children, aged 6 to 17, across the United States and found that asthma rates were 13 percent among inner-city children and 11 percent among those in suburban or rural areas. But that small difference vanished once other variables were factored in, according to the study published online in the January 20 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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Rapid weight gain in first three months of life increases asthma risk

Medical Xpress

January 9, 2015

Babies who gain weight rapidly in the first three months of life are more likely to develop asthma and for it to persist into adolescence. This is according to the latest research from the University of Bristol's Children of the 90s study, which analyzed information on height, weight and asthma symptoms in almost 10,000 people enrolled in the study at various points in time from birth to age 17.

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Asthma May Boost Sleep Apnea Risk

HealthCanal

January 1, 2015

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), asthma may lead to obstructive sleep apnea, a narrowing or closing of the upper airways during sleep. The new study examined the prospective relationship between pre-existing asthma and new obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study. The primary finding from the study: participants with pre-existing asthma were 40 percent more likely to develop OSA than those without pre-existing asthma.

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Most People With Inhalers, EpiPens Don’t Use Them Right

ABC News

December 18, 2014

EpiPens and asthma inhalers have the potential to save lives with a simple jab or puff, but a small study published suggests that many people may be using these vital devices incorrectly. Researchers at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology observed patients as they demonstrated how they would use inhalers and learned that most of the patients were unable to use the devices properly, keeping them from getting the medication when needed most.

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Raised Asthma Risk Seen for Toddlers Who Share Bed with Parents

HealthDay

December 11, 2014

Toddlers who share a bed with their parents may have an increased risk of developing asthma later in childhood, a new study finds. Children who shared a bed with their parents during infancy (two months old) did not have an increased risk of developing asthma by the time they were six years old. However, children who shared a bed with their parents when they were toddlers (age 24 months) were more likely to experience wheezing between ages three and six, and an asthma diagnosis by age six.

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Don’t Let Asthma Keep You From Exercising

The Washington Post

December 8, 2014

Mike Plunkett

Almost 19 million American adults have adult-onset asthma, a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. About 90 percent of them — plus about 10 percent of the general population — periodically suffer a related condition called exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, in which someone running or doing other strenuous exercise suddenly struggles to be able to breathe, with little or no warning. It’s understandable that adults with these conditions — and there are more all the time, doctors say, due partly to poor air quality and other environmental factors —may find some types of fitness to be an arduous endeavor that ultimately won’t be worth the effort. But experts say that knowledge of both conditions is improving and, in consultation with physicians, it is possible for sufferers to exercise and maintain an active lifestyle.

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Link Between Antibiotics and Childhood Asthma Called Into Question

Medical News Today

December 2, 2014

Researchers found that results from previous studies linking increased use of antibiotics and a concurring increase in childhood asthma should be called into question. As it may be difficult to diagnose asthma in small children, new asthma symptoms can often be misinterpreted as a respiratory infection. As such, many children may have received antibiotics for the "infection," which is actually asthma, and the antibiotics are then suspected to have caused the asthma when later discovered.

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Job Worries Can Raise Asthma Risk, Study Says

HealthDay

September 23, 2014

Fear of losing your job can increase the risk for developing asthma, according to a new European study. The study involved more than 7,000 employed adults in Germany. Between 2009 and 2011, during the economic downturn in Europe, the workers answered questions about the respiratory disorder and also on whether they thought they would lose their job within two years. More than 100 new cases of asthma were diagnosed among the survey group, half of whom were women, during the study period.

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Researchers Shed Light on Asthma's Mysteries

Wall Street Journal

September 22, 2014

Researchers are making interesting new discoveries about a particularly confusing type of asthma. Doctors increasingly are recognizing that as many as half of asthma sufferers have a form of the lung disease known as non-allergic asthma. Some medications that help control symptoms of the more familiar allergic asthma aren't as effective in non-allergic patients.

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Prenatal Exposure to Chemicals in Plastics Linked to Asthma Risk in Kids

Healthday

September 17, 2014

Exposure in the womb to household chemicals known as phthalates might increase a child's future risk of developing asthma, Columbia University researchers reported in a new study. Children had nearly an 80 percent increased risk of developing asthma between age 5 and 11 if their mothers were exposed during pregnancy to high levels of two phthalates (pronounced thal-ates), the researchers found. The two phthalates were butylbenzyl phthalate and di-n-butyl phthalate, according to the study.

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Long-term effects of childhood asthma influenced by socioeconomic status

Medical Xpress

September 15, 2014

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 6 percent of children younger than five have been diagnosed with asthma, the fastest-growing and most common chronic illness affecting children in the United States. Studies have shown that asthma is associated with attention and behavioral issues in children, yet little existing research examines how socioeconomic status may influence the ultimate effects of these difficulties.

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Enterovirus D68: What Parents Need to Know

WebMD

September 9, 2014

A fast-spreading virus related to hand-foot-and-mouth disease is hospitalizing kids across the country. The virus, enterovirus D68, or EV-D68, was first discovered in 1962 in California. But until now, it has only been tied to smaller clusters of disease around the U.S. This is the first time it’s caused such widespread misery, and it seems to be particularly hard on the lungs.

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Enterovirus 68 outbreak: which kids most at risk?

The Boston Globe

September 8, 2014

A sudden surge in pediatric emergency room visits in at least a dozen states has been linked to an uncommon respiratory virus, called Enterovirus 68, and public health officials have been scrambling to determine where it’s spreading and why it’s hitting some children harder than others. “It’s not a new strain and is the same EV-68 strain identified in the US last year,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

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Sleeping On Animal Fur Can Lower Asthma Risk

TIME

September 8, 2014

Animal fur may be protective against asthma and allergies, a new study finds. The research, presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress, examined data from 2,441 German children and found an association between sleeping on animal fur, like sheepskin rugs or throws, during their first three months and a decreased risk of asthma later in childhood, by age 10.

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Smoking Before Fatherhood May Raise Asthma Risk in Kids: Study

HealthDay

September 8, 2014

Men who smoke before becoming a parent may put their children at increased risk for asthma, a new study suggests. Researchers analyzed the smoking habits of more than 13,000 men and women, and then looked at the incidence of asthma in their children. The results showed that asthma was much more common in children whose fathers were smokers before conception.

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Study Reveals Childhood Obesity Leads to Asthma

Science World Report

September 4, 2014

A new study provides evidence that childhood obesity contributes to asthma. For several decades, health experts have believed that childhood obesity and asthma are linked; however, they could not determine which of the two conditions comes first and whether one condition leads to the other. Childhood obesity is listed as a serious U.S. public health problem and the rate has doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents over the last 30 years, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control.

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Asthma attack rates similar for black and white kids

Reuters

August 21, 2014

A new analysis of U.S. childhood asthma statistics finds racial differences persist in the proportions of African American and white children who develop asthma, but success in managing the disease is becoming more equal. Disparities between white and black kids with asthma in rates of emergency department visits or hospitalizations have shrunk and rates of asthma attacks – another sign of poorly managed asthma – are the same, researchers found.

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