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Mice May Be Key to Kids' Asthma Attacks at School

Posted 5 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Dec. 2, 2016 – Research investigating schoolchildren's asthma attacks has pointed to a tiny foe: mice. Allergens from the rodents can infiltrate the air, the study found, and may be a major cause of asthma attacks in the school environment. It's known that many different allergy triggers – from dust mites to mold to pet dander – can fuel children's asthma symptoms. But most research has focused on the triggers in kids' homes. "In this study, we've identified the school as an important factor, too," said researcher Dr. Wanda Phipatanakul, an allergy specialist at Boston Children's Hospital. That said, she stressed, the findings do not actually prove that schools' rodent problems were the cause of kids' symptoms. The next step, Phipatanakul said, is a study where schools will get air purifiers and "integrated pest management," to see if that improves students' respiratory ... Read more

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Combo Drug for Childhood Asthma Appears Safe in Study

Posted 31 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 31, 2016 – Lingering safety concerns regarding an asthma drug for children may be put to rest by new clinical trial results showing the widely used medication is safe, according to a new report. Long-acting beta agonists (LABAs) provide short-term relief of asthma symptoms by relaxing and opening the airways. They're prescribed to child asthma sufferers in combination with an inhaled steroid drug to reduce airway inflammation, said study co-author Dr. Stanley Szefler. He is director of pediatric asthma research for the University of Colorado School of Medicine. "Together they have a dual purpose, one to reduce inflammation and the other to open up the airways to make it easier to breathe," Szefler said. But a 2008 analysis by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration questioned the safety of LABAs, noting that some studies had found an increased risk of asthma-related ... Read more

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Study Ties Autism Risk to Prenatal Exposure to Asthma Drugs

Posted 6 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 6, 2016 – Children whose mothers took certain asthma drugs during pregnancy may have a slightly increased risk of autism, a new study suggests. The study, published online Jan. 6 in Pediatrics, found a connection between autism risk and prenatal exposure to drugs called beta-agonists. They are most often used to control asthma, and include inhaled medications such as albuterol, salmeterol (Serevent) and formoterol (Foradil). Researchers said the findings do not prove cause and effect, and stressed that women with asthma should not simply abandon their medication during pregnancy. "Uncontrolled asthma in pregnancy has been associated with poor birth outcomes, such as preterm birth, low birth weight and admission to the neonatal intensive care unit," said lead researcher Nicole Gidaya, of Drexel University, in Philadelphia. What's more, preterm delivery and low birth ... Read more

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Kids May Be More Likely to Get Asthma if Grandma Smoked While Pregnant: Study

Posted 29 Sep 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 29, 2015 – Children whose grandmothers smoked during pregnancy are at increased risk for asthma, even if their own mothers did not smoke, a new study suggests. It's known that smoking can cause changes in gene activity. The new study findings suggest that those changes can be passed down through more than one generation, the researchers said. The study included more than 66,000 grandchildren and nearly 45,000 grandmothers in Sweden. Children whose grandmothers smoked while pregnant with daughters had a 10 percent to 22 percent increased risk of asthma, even if their own mothers did not smoke during pregnancy. The study, to be presented Wednesday at a meeting of the European Respiratory Society in Amsterdam, may help explain why there has been a sharp rise in asthma rates in the last 50 years, the researchers said. The study only found a link between grandmothers who ... Read more

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Losing Weight May Ease Asthma in Obese People

Posted 26 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 26, 2015 – Losing weight may help reduce asthma severity in obese adults, a new Canadian study finds. "We were pleased to see significant improvement in asthma symptoms, as well as quality of life for these individuals. This study further supports the need to manage [chronic disorders] to improve patient lives," said study author Dr. Smita Pakhale, from The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa. People who are obese are about 1.5 times more likely to have asthma than those who aren't obese. A 3-unit increase in body mass index – BMI, an estimate of body fat based on weight and height – is associated with a 35 percent increase in the risk of asthma, the researchers said in a news release from the American College of Chest Physicians. A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered normal weight. A BMI of 25 to 29.9 is overweight, while 30 and over is considered obese. The ... Read more

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Women Hospitalized for Asthma More Often Than Men

Posted 5 May 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 5, 2015 – After seeking medical treatment in the emergency room for an asthma attack, women are much more likely than men to need hospitalization, researchers report. Scientists analyzed the likelihood that 2,000 patients treated in the ER for asthma would need to be admitted to the hospital. Although the men and women had similar risk factors for a flare-up of their condition, women were still 60 percent more likely to be hospitalized, according to the study, published May 5 in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. "It's long been known that after puberty, asthma is more common in women than men," Dr. James Sublett, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, said in a journal news release. "Only 10 percent of the women in this study had been seen by an allergist in the last year," Sublett added. "Those who see an allergist and use ... Read more

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Gene May Play Part in How Kids Respond to Asthma Meds: Study

Posted 22 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 22, 2015 – Researchers say they've identified a gene that affects whether children with asthma respond to corticosteroids. Corticosteroids are the most effective treatment for chronic asthma and acute asthma attacks, but some children don't respond well to the drugs. Researchers analyzed the genomes of 57 children with asthma, and found that the activity of a gene called VNN-1 affected whether they were good or poor responders to corticosteroid treatment. The study was published April 21 in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. The gene "may serve as a clinically useful biomarker to identify a subset of difficult-to-treat asthmatic children, and targeting the VNN-1 pathway may be useful as a therapeutic strategy," senior study author Dr. Gurjit Khurana Hershey, director of the Asthma Research Center at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, said in a ... Read more

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