The disturbing airborne allergen in schools that may be exacerbating your kid's asthma

The Washington Post

November 21, 2016

Ariana Eunjung Cha

A study conducted by researchers at Boston’s Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School found a significant amount of mouse allergen present in inner city schools. After taking dust samples in both schools and homes, researchers found mouse allergen to be present in 99.5 percent of the school samples, and the concentration of the allergen was significantly higher in schools than in homes. Furthermore, results showed that children with higher exposure to mouse allergen in schools had increased asthma symptoms and lower lung function.

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Nutrition Matters When It Comes to Asthma Risk

HCP Live

November 14, 2016

Caitlyn Fitzpatrick

According to a new study, children living in a food desert – an urban area where it is difficult to buy affordable or good-quality fresh food – have an increased risk of asthma. Researchers found that children who did not have access to fresh fruits and vegetables had a 53 percent greater risk of developing asthma than children who did have access. Prior research has suggested that diets filled with particular vitamins reduce the risk of asthma, and while more evidence is needed, researchers believe nutrition plays an important role in the condition.

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Teens with Asthma More Likely to Smoke, Survey Shows

Allergic Living

November 11, 2016

Claire Gagne

A new survey found that adolescents with asthma were twice as likely to smoke as adolescents without asthma. Questionnaires revealed adolescents with asthma started smoking due to curiosity and continued because they thought it reduced their anxiety and stress. As tobacco smoke is one of the most common asthma triggers, patients are reminded that smoking makes breathing much harder for kids with asthma and should be avoided.

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Clean Home May Help Keep Kids' Asthma in Check

HealthDay

October 31, 2016

Steven Reinberg

A new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics showed reducing asthmatic children’s exposure to indoor allergens and pollutants, such as dust mites and secondhand cigarette smoke, can help control their asthma, reducing the need for medication. The report states the first step is to learn what's causing the child's asthma. Allergen-specific blood antibody tests or a referral to an allergist for skin testing can identify allergens that contribute to the disease. Doctors believe controlling children's asthma triggers may reduce their dangerous and uncomfortable symptoms.

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Bloodsucking parasitic hookworms could help make millions of people healthier

The Washington Post

October 26, 2016

Sarah Kaplan

Researchers at James Cook University identified AIP-2, a protein secreted by hookworms that suppresses symptoms of asthma in mice. Researchers believe the protein is responsible for decreasing inflammation in the airways. The benefits even continued for 10 weeks after the mice stopped receiving AIP-2. These positive findings may be another step closer to putting a pill-based treatment into clinical trials for asthma, as well as other inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

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Kids Who Grew Up on Farms Have Fewer Allergies: Study

TIME

September 27, 2016

Justin Worland

According to a new study, children that grew up on a farm were 54 percent less likely to have asthma or hay fever as an adult compared to children that grew up in either a rural or urban area. Researchers remain uncertain about what drives the relationship between spending childhood on a farm and the development of allergies, though they suggest exposure to certain microbes, air pollution and physical activity could all play a role. Results also showed that women who grew up on farms before age five had stronger lungs in adulthood.

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Clues in microbiome of infants point to future allergies and asthma

Medical News Today

September 12, 2016

Yvette Brazier

A study conducted by researchers at the University of California-San Francisco and the Henry Ford Health System found that a specific pattern of microbes living in a baby’s gut during the first month of life may directly impact its developing immune system, leading to a higher risk of allergies and asthma later in childhood. Results showed that the gut microbes present in some one-month-old infants predict a threefold higher risk of developing allergic reactions by age two and asthma by age four. If signs of allergic asthma appear in the gut microbiota early in life, findings suggest intervention could alter the microbes so that the condition will not develop in the future.

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Vitamin D May Reduce Asthma Attacks

New York Times

September 8, 2016

Nicholas Bakalar

A new study suggests taking an oral vitamin D supplement, in addition to standard asthma medication, is likely to reduce the risk of asthma attacks requiring medication by 37 percent. Furthermore, researchers found the number of attacks requiring emergency intervention decreased by more than 60 percent among vitamin D users. The reason for the effect is unclear, but researchers believe vitamin D triggers antiviral and anti-inflammatory responses that might decrease the risk for lung infection.

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Adult-Onset Asthma Might Raise Heart Risks

Health Day

August 24, 2016

Robert Preidt

A new study suggests people who develop asthma as adults may also be at a greater risk of developing heart disease. Results showed that people with late-onset asthma were 57 percent more likely than those with early-onset asthma and those without asthma to suffer a cardiovascular event. In light of these new findings, researchers recommend that healthcare providers pay particular attention to heart disease risk factors in patients with late-onset asthma. Patients can help themselves by exercising, eating a healthy diet and maintaining a normal body weight.

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Kids With Mild Asthma Can Take Acetaminophen: Study

Health Day

August 17, 2016

Robert Preidt

A study conducted by researchers at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School found that acetaminophen does not worsen asthma symptoms in young children. During the study, children were given either acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain or fever. Results showed the small percentage of children that experienced worsened asthma symptoms was about the same with both medications.

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Barnyard Dust Offers a Clue to Stopping Asthma in Children

The New York Times

August 3, 2016

Gina Kolata

A new study suggests microbes from farm animals carried into the home in dust could prevent asthma in children. The small study focused on an Amish and Hutterite community, both with the same genetic makeup and lifestyle, with the exception of their farming methods. Researchers found that the dust collected from Amish homes was loaded with debris from bacteria, while the Hutterites’ house dust did not show debris from bacteria. Researchers believe this type of bacteria may be able to be used in the future as a therapeutic intervention.

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Asthma cure? Blocking 'rogue' gene shows promise

Medical News Today

July 22, 2016

Honor Whiteman

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Southampton suggests that blocking a gene known as a disintegrin and metalloprotease 33 or ADAM33 could stop asthma development. Previous research showed that people who have the ADAM33 gene are at an increased risk of developing asthma, but researchers wanted to evaluate the specific mechanisms by which ADAM33 may contribute to asthma development. Results found that the ADAM33 gene caused airway remodeling, and by deactivating the gene, airway remodeling was reversed.

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Does Living Near a Fracking Site Make Asthma Worse?

Health Day

July 18, 2016

Steven Reinberg

A new study suggests living near fracking sites may make asthma worse for those who suffer from the disease. Researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore used electronic health records to collect data on patients treated at a clinic located in Pennsylvania from 2005 through 2012. After analyzing the data, researchers found patients with asthma living in areas with the highest activity of gas drilling and production had an increased risk of mild, moderate and severe asthma exacerbations, compared with those living in areas of low fracking activity.

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US Pediatric Hospitals Vary Significantly in Care, Costs for Children with Asthma

Lung Disease News

July 12, 2016

Carolina Henriques

An evaluation conducted by researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia showed pediatric hospital costs and care vary significantly when it comes to children with asthma. Researchers found that even when asthma patients were grouped by characteristics like age or severity of illness, hospitals differed greatly in patient costs, duration of stay and time spent in the intensive care unit (ICU). Researchers believe if hospitals can better evaluate whether their care practices are disproportionately expensive and inefficient compared to other hospitals, they may be better able to identify quality improvements.

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New Primary Care-Based Program Improves Pediatric Asthma Assessment and Treatment

MD Magazine

June 15, 2016

Amy Jacob

According to a study conducted by researchers at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, a new primary care-based asthma program is more efficient at identifying, controlling and promoting improved treatment for children with asthma, when compared to routine office visits. Researchers found that physicians from the asthma program identified more cases of moderate to severe asthma among children than physicians of children who had routine care visits. Furthermore, results showed emergency department visits due to asthmatic attacks decreased from 32 percent to eight percent after the asthma program visits.

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A Wearable for Asthmatics?

R&D Magazine

June 1, 2016

Greg Watry

Researchers from North Carolina State University developed a system that monitors both health and environmental factors of a person with asthma. The system includes a wristband, chest patch and spirometer. The patch monitors biomarkers such as heart rate, respiratory rate, blood oxygen level and wheezing. The wristband monitors the environmental factors including humidity, temperature and ozone amount, and the spirometer is used to measure lung function throughout the day. The goal of the system is to find the relationship between various environmental factors and indicators of an asthma attack. Researchers hope to see the system available in the next five years.

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Severe Asthma in Childhood Linked to COPD Risk Later

HealthDay

May 12, 2016

Steven Reinberg

A study conducted by researchers from the U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute found that persistent childhood asthma may be linked to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in early adulthood. Researchers found that 11 percent of the nearly 700 children who participated in the study met the criteria for COPD by the time they reached early adulthood, and those with the poorest lung function and reduced lung growth faced the greatest risk. Future studies will need to be conducted to determine if any treatments can be taken to prevent this progression.

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Do You Know the 'Hidden' Signs of Asthma?

HealthDay

May 11, 2016

Robert Preidt

According to a new survey conducted by National Jewish Health, a majority of adults do not recognize certain symptoms of asthma, including trouble sleeping and persistent cough. Results showed that only about 50 percent of adults knew that trouble sleeping was a symptom of asthma, though one in every 200 adults is diagnosed with adult-onset asthma. Health professionals said the findings from this survey may help explain why cases of untreated asthma in adults still exist.

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A Dust Mite Pill May Help Relieve Asthma Symptoms, Study Finds

ABC News

April 26, 2016

Gillian Mohney

A study conducted by researchers at the University of Rostock in Germany found that asthma patients who took a dust mite pill daily could experience decreased asthma symptoms. Results showed patients that took a daily dust mite pill were at a reduced risk of moderate or severe asthma reactions compared to placebo, as the pill is designed to expose the immune system to a safe dose of allergen so the immune system does not react as intensely when exposed to the allergen again. Up to 50 percent of people with asthma are sensitive to house dust mites, and exposure to these allergens is associated with severe asthmatic reactions.

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Asthma: Study May Explain Why Some Patients Do Not Respond to Treatment

Medical News Today

April 19, 2016

Honor Whiteman

A study conducted by a group of researchers from Rutgers University and University of Pennsylvania identified a biological pathway that may potentially explain why current asthma therapies don’t work in all patients. Researchers found data that strongly suggests neuropeptides can cause airway hyper-responsiveness in lungs and could be a reason why asthma develops. Researchers propose blocking the neuropeptides could lead to a new asthma medication for patients that fail to respond to current treatments.

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A Simple Asthma Blood Test May be in the Works

CBS News

April 18, 2016

Mary Brophy Marcus

Researchers at Penn State College of Medicine conducted a study that found microRNA or miRNA, a chemical in the human body, is associated with asthma detection. They continued their research by studying the miRNA in asthmatics, people suffering with nasal allergies and people who had neither. Based on the miRNA expression patterns found in the three groups, researchers were able to predict with 91 percent accuracy whether or not a person had asthma. This discovery could lead to the first diagnostic blood test for asthma.

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Cleaner Air in California May Mean Healthier Kids: Study

HealthDay

April 12, 2016

Amy Norton

A 20-year study was conducted by researchers at the University of Southern California that found cleaner air in the Los Angeles region improved children’s respiratory health. Over the two decades, researchers found a 47 percent decrease of “fine particle” pollutant, emitted by cars and industrial sources, which was associated with a 32 percent decrease of bronchitic symptoms in children with asthma. Results from the study also found that cleaner air decreased bronchitic symptoms in children who do not have asthma.

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New Study Links Asthma to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, Excess Weight

Tech Times

April 4, 2016

Milafel Dacanay

An observational study conducted by researchers from Monash University found women who have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and are overweight or obese are more prone to asthma. Results from the study found women who have PCOS had an asthma prevalence of 15.2 percent compared with 10.6 percent among those that do not have PCOS. Researchers believe further studies need to be conducted, although this study does raise awareness of risk factors of the disease.

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Teaching Asthma, COPD Patients How Inhalers Work May Help Prevent Medical Emergencies

Tech Times

March 24, 2016

Rhodi Lee

Researchers from the University of Chicago conducted a study that showed metered dose inhaler (MDI) misuses were significantly lower when patients were given personalized and hands-on instruction. Results from the study showed that only 17 percent of patients who were given hands-on instructions returned to the hospital due to an asthma flare up compared to 36 percent of patients who did not receive instructions. Researchers believe this could be the first step toward improving self-management and health outcomes for hospitalized asthmatics.

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Obesity Linked to Higher Asthma Risk in Women

HealthDay

March 16, 2016

According to a new study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obese women had the highest asthma rates among Americans. When compared to normal-weight women, who had an asthma rate of eight percent, obese women had an asthma rate of 15 percent. The results confirmed that obesity is a risk factor for asthma, though further studies are required to determine if losing weight reduces asthma.

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When Breathing Doesn’t Come Easy: Living With and Managing Asthma

Las Vegas Sun

March 13, 2016

Asthma is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases worldwide, affecting 25 million people in the United States alone. Though asthma can vary in symptoms and severity from patient to patient, there are several ways asthma can be treated. According to the article, these treatment options include quick-relief medications, taken during an asthma attack, and long-term control medications, which reduce day-to-day airway inflammation. Patients should speak with their doctors to determine which treatment is best suited for them.

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In Asthmatic Kids Whose Symptoms Worsen After School Breaks, Common Cold is Likely Culprit

Lung Disease News

February 10, 2016

Timea Polgar

A study investigated why children seem to have more asthma exacerbations when school starts back up after the summer and spring holidays. Researchers suspected factors such as air quality in schools could be to blame, but found the primary cause of seasonal asthma reoccurrence is the prevalence of common colds. Children have decreased immunity around these times of the year, increasing their susceptibility to contracting a cold and worsening their asthma symptoms.

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Prenatal Vitamin D Supplements May Not Lower Baby's Asthma Risk: Study

HealthDay

January 26, 2016

Robert Preidt

Two new studies found that taking vitamin D supplements daily during pregnancy does not have an impact on lowering the odds for asthma in children, despite speculation that a vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy may affect the immune system development. Researchers acknowledged however, that a longer, larger trial may be needed to see a benefit for babies.

To read the full story, click here.


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