Obese mothers have more asthmatic babies

According to a new study, children of obese mothers are more likely to have frequent wheezing, which is one of the symptoms of asthma.

Researchers from the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology concluded that the risk of wheezing during the first 14 months of life is four times greater for babies born to obese mothers than for those born to mothers of normal weight.

Obesity as risk factor for asthma

Wheezing occurs when the air passages tense up during an asthma attack. It can begin in a subtle way and become worse at night, during exercise, or early in the morning.

For the study, researchers analyzed 1,107 pairs of mother and child from a previous Spanish study on infancy. Regardless of the baby's weight, the mother's age or her smoking habits, children born to obese mothers were seen to be at a much higher risk for wheezing.

"The independent relationship of obesity before pregnancy with the increased risk of frequent wheezing in children adds more evidence to the effects of fetal exposure and its consequences on asthma-related phenotypes," said Stefano Guerra, lead author of the study.

Weight loss might help

Guerra notes that the study implicates "possible preventative benefits of losing excess weight" for pregnant women who are obese.

Infant asthma has long stumped scientists, who are still trying to determine what risk factors engender the development of the condition. Asthma currently affects about 300 million people globally, and about 47 percent of those people do not have sufficient control over the disease.

The study is published in the journal Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology.

Source: Science Daily

Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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