Gene Variant Spells Trouble for Asthmatics
A new study finds about one in six people with asthma carry two copies of a gene variant that makes them twice as likely as others to show a poor response to inhaled steroids, a mainstay in the treatment of the condition.
Asthma, Allergies Tied to Gut Bacteria Exposure at Birth
A type of gastrointestinal bacteria commonly spread to newborns during cesarean section increases their risk of developing asthma and allergies as they get older. Kids who tested positive for C. difficile as babies had twice the likelihood of developing asthma by the time they were six or seven, and they were also at increased risk for eczema or a food sensitization.
HRT Linked to Asthma Attacks
Here’s more bad news about hormone replacement therapy (HRT): Danish investigators find these drugs can trigger asthma in women who have never had asthma before and can make their symptoms worse than normal. In the study, women taking HRT for up to three years were 29% more likely to end up in the hospital with a serious asthma exacerbation.
Obese Moms-to-Be Risk Asthma in Offspring
Women who are very obese during pregnancy are 61% more likely than normal weight women to have children who develop asthma by the time they are 8–10 years old, report Swedish researchers.
Controller Meds Reaching More Kids in Need
More kids are getting controller medications for their asthma. According to the federal Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research, the percentage of kids using these inhalers rose from 29% in 1997–1998 to 58% in 2007–2008.
Take Care with Anesthesia in Obese Kids
Two new studies suggest obese children with asthma need special care when undergoing anesthesia. The first found these kids were more likely to have critical airway problems like spasms during anesthesia, and the second found they actually require smaller doses of the anesthetic propofol than slimmer kids.