Nieuws astma


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Bepaald gist in darmen van babyís vergroot kans op astma

Microbiologen van de University of British Columbia (UBC) hebben een gistsoort in de darmpjes van pasgeboren baby's in Ecuador geÔdentificeerd, die een sterke voorspeller blijkt te zijn voor toekomstige ontwikkeling van astma bij deze kinderen. Het nieuwe onderzoek bevordert ook ons begrip van de rol die microscopisch kleine organismen spelen in onze algehele gezondheid.

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Het gebruik van visolie bij astma

Wetenschappers van de University of Rochester Medical Center hebben nieuwe belangrijke zaken over omega 3 vetzuren in visolie ontdekt en hoe deze kunnen worden ingezet bij astmapatiŽnten.

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Inname sterk bewerkt vlees gelinkt aan verergering astmasymptomen

Uit onderzoek, online gepubliceerd in het tijdschrift Thorax, blijkt dat een hoge inname van gerookte, gezouten en bewerkte vleesproducten, zoals ham en salami, samenhangt met een verergering van astmasymptomen. Vier of meer keer dit soort vlees eten per week lijkt de meeste invloed te hebben op de symptomen, aldus het onderzoek. Gerookt, gepekeld en bewerkt vlees is rijk aan nitriet, wat een rol kan spelen bij luchtweginfecties Ė een typerend kenmerk van astma.

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Samenhang tussen schoolmilieu en astmasymptomen

BeÔnvloeden door de lucht verspreide allergenen in scholen de astmasymptomen bij leerlingen? In een nieuw artikel van dr. Wanda Phipatanakul van Boston's Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston en haar collegaís, wordt het onderzoek beschreven naar de bovenstaande vraag, door middel van een studie met 284 leerlingen tussen de 4 en 13 jaar oud, op 37 scholen uit binnensteden in het noordoosten van de VS.

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Vitamine D kan astma-aanvallen verminderen

Een nieuw Cochrane Review, gepubliceerd in Cochrane Library en gepresenteerd op het ERS International Congress, heeft in gerandomiseerde studies bewijzen gevonden dat het nemen van een oraal vitamine D-supplement naast de standaard astma-medicatie ernstige astma-aanvallen kan verminderen.

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Herhaald gebruik van antibiotica verhoogt kans op obesitas en astma

Kinderen die langdurig antibiotica van het type macrolide krijgen toegediend zijn in hun latere leven eerder te dik en gevoeliger voor astma. Dit komt waarschijnlijk doordat de antibiotica de bacteriesamenstelling van de darmen voor lange tijd veranderen, waarbij veelal ongunstige bacteriŽn gaan domineren en potentieel positieve bacteriŽn worden verdrongen.

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Grote fysieke activiteit kan zorgen voor slechtere beheersing astma bij jonge vrouwen

Aan 526 adolescenten en jongvolwassenen werd gevraagd naar hun gewoontes betreffende lichaamsbeweging. Daarvan bleken degenen met astma meer fysieke activiteit te melden dan degenen zonder astma.

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Astma medicatie genomen tijdens de vroege kinderjaren gekoppeld aan groeistoornissen

Volgens een onderzoek gepresenteerd op de 54ste Annual European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology Meeting, worden zuigelingen met astmamedicatie tijdens de eerste 2 jaar waarschijnlijk in hun groei belemmerd in het latere leven. De bevindingen benadrukken het belang van een weloverwogen gebruik van geneesmiddelen bij kinderen.

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Kinderen met astma die zijn blootgesteld aan passief roken ondergaan twee keer zoveel ziekenhuisopnames

Het risico van ziekenhuisopname verdubbelt voor kinderen met astma die worden blootgesteld aan passief roken, volgens een studie onder leiding van de Mayo Clinic Children's Research Center.

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Opgroeien op een boerderij biedt bescherming tegen astma en allergie

Onderzoekers van VIB (het toonaangevende Life Sciences Institute in Vlaanderen, BelgiŽ) en de Universiteit van Gent hebben met succes een oorzakelijk verband gevonden tussen blootstelling aan het zogenaamde boerderij stof en bescherming tegen astma en allergieŽn.

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Bijwerkingen bij kinderen na gebruik van astma medicatie

Sinds 2007 verzamelt het Europees Geneesmiddelenbureau (EMA), een agentschap van de EU, informatie over de ervaringen van patiŽnten met bijwerkingen van geneesmiddelen (ADR's) in de Europese ADR-database, EudraVigilance. Zowel overheden als farmaceutische bedrijven hebben de plicht om informatie te geven over ADR's aan de database die nieuwe kennis over onbekende en ernstige bijwerkingen geeft: "We hebben alle EU bijwerkingsrapporten bestudeerd over de goedgekeurde astmamedicatie voor kinderen gebruikt over een periode van vijf jaar (2007 tot 2011). In het licht van het totale gebruik van astmamedicatie was het aantal gemelde bijwerkingen - niet overweldigend - een totaal van 774 ADR-rapporten - echter, 85% van deze bijwerkingen, bijna allemaal gemeld door artsen, worden geclassificeerd als ernstig, "zegt professor Ebba Holme Hansen van de afdeling Farmacie aan de Universiteit van Kopenhagen.

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Ftalaten verhogen risico op astma bij kinderen

Bij een groep kinderen steeg het risico op astma met meer dan 70% door tijdens de zwangerschap blootgesteld te zijn aan hoge niveaus van de huishoudelijke chemicaliŽn butylbenzylftalaat en di-n-butyl ftalaat. Onderzoekers van de Columbia Center for Childrenís Environmental Health aan de Mailman School of Public Health zijn de eersten die een verband aantonen tussen astma en prenatale blootstelling aan twee ftalaten die gebruikt worden in een breed scala van huishoudelijke producten. De resultaten verschijnen online in het tijdschrift Environmental Health Perspectives.

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Pasgeborenen blootgesteld aan vuil, huidschilfers en bacteriŽn hebben minder kans op allergie en astma

Volgens de resultaten van een studie uitgevoerd door wetenschappers van het Johns Hopkins Children's Center en andere instellingen blijken zuigelingen blootgesteld aan knaagdieren en huidschilfers van huisdieren, allergenen en een breed scala van huishoudelijke bacteriŽn in het eerste jaar van hun leven, minder last te hebben van allergieŽn, piepende ademhaling en astma.

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Blootstelling van kinderen aan sigarettenrook verhoogt de kans op heropname in het ziekenhuis als gevolg van astma

Een nieuw onderzoek toont aan dat de blootstelling van kinderen aan meeroken - thuis of in de auto Ė de kans op heropname binnen een jaar nadat ze in het ziekenhuis opgenomen zijn geweest voor astma drastisch verhoogt. Het onderzoek, gepubliceerd in het tijdschrift ĎPediatricsí, oppert de mogelijkheid dat het meten van blootstelling aan tabak in de klinische praktijk kan worden gebruikt om de inspanningen te richten op het stoppen met roken om zo de kans op een toekomstige ziekenhuisopnames te verminderen.

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Luchtvervuiling door verkeer en houtrook verergert astma bij volwassenen

Volgens bevindingen van een studie aan de universiteit van Melbourne ervaren astmapatiŽnten, vaak blootgesteld aan zware vervuiling door het verkeer of door rook van houtvuurkachels, een duidelijke verergering van hun astmasymptomen.

De studie is de eerste in zijn soort die de impact van de vervuiling door het verkeer en houtrook van kachels onderzocht bij volwassenen van middelbare leeftijd met astma.

Uit de resultaten bleek dat volwassen astmalijders die blootgesteld werden aan vervuiling door zwaar verkeer, een toename van 80 procent van de astmasymptomen en deze blootgesteld aan rook van houtvuurkachels een toename van 11 procent van hun klachten ervaarden.

Astma treft meer dan 300 miljoen mensen wereldwijd en is ťťn van de meest voorkomende chronische aandoeningen.

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Astma? U hebt waarschijnlijk een allergie

Studie vindt bij 65 tot 75 procent van de astmatische volwassenen een allergie. Astma wordt steeds meer een epidemie in de Verenigde Staten. Het aantal Amerikanen gediagnosticeerd met astma groeit jaarlijks, wat neerkomt op 26 miljoen euro aan verzorginskosten. Volgens een nieuwe studie hebben bijna twee derde of meer van alle astmapatiŽnten een allergie die bijzonder hinderlijk kan zijn in het voorjaar. De studie, die is gepubliceerd in het aprilnummer van Annals of Allergy, Astma & Immunology, het wetenschappelijk tijdschrift van de American College of Allergy, Astma en Immunologie (ACAAI), vond dat een verbazingwekkende 75 procent van astmatische volwassenen van 20 tot 40 jaar oud, en 65 procent van de astmatische volwassenen in de leeftijd boven de 55 jaar ten minste ťťn allergie hadden.

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Er is hoop voor astmapatiŽnten

Een UCSF geleid onderzoeksteam richt zich op fysiologische factoren die leiden tot een astma-aanval. Een nieuwe studie die manieren identificeert waarbij factoren die leiden tot een astma-aanval gereduceerd kunnen worden geeft hoop voor mensen met astma. Een UCSF onderzoeker en zijn collegaís geloven dat ze een manier hebben gevonden voor astma-lijders om de twee belangrijkste biologische reacties die leiden tot een astma-aanval te belemmeren.

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Kinderen die blootgesteld worden aan 2 ftalaten hebben een verhoogd risico op astma-gerelateerde ontstekingen van de luchtwegen

Kinderen die blootgesteld worden aan diethyl ftalaat (DEP) en butylbenzyl ftalaat (BBzP) - ftalaat chemicaliŽn, vaak gevonden in persoonlijke verzorgings- en plastic-producten - hebben een verhoogd risico op astma-gerelateerde luchtweg ontstekingen, aldus onderzoekers aan de Columbia Center for Childrenís Environmental Health (CCCEH) van de Mailman School of Public Health. Van de 244 kinderen in de leeftijd van 5 tot 9 jaar die aan het onderzoek meededen hadden allen detecteerbare niveaus van ftalaten in hun urine, hoewel deze over een breed gebied varieerden. Hogere niveaus van beide ftalaten werden geassocieerd met hogere niveaus van stikstofmonoxide in de uitgeademde lucht, een biologische marker van luchtwegontstekingen. De associatie tussen blootstelling aan BBzP en luchtwegontstekingen was vooral sterk onder kinderen die onlangs een piepende ademhaling hadden gemeld, een veel voorkomend symptoom van astma. De resultaten zijn recent gepubliceerd in het American Journal and Critical Care Medicine.

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Vitamin D gebrek en een slechtere longfunctie behandeld met steroÔden bij astmatische kinderen

Vitamin D gebrek wordt in verband gebracht met een slechtere longfunctie bij astmatische kinderen die behandeld worden met corticosteroÔde inhalators volgen een nieuw onderzoek van researchers in Boston. ďIn ons onderzoek van kinderen met milde tot gematigd chronisch astma en gebrekkige vitamine D levels, liet minder vooruitgang zien in een met voorste luchtwegen verwijdend middel geforceerde ademhalingsvolume tijdens 1 seconde (FEV1) na een jaar behandeling met inhalerings corticosteroÔden dan kinderen met een voldoende hoog level van vitamine D,Ē zei Ann Chen Wu, MD, MPH, assistent professor van het Departement of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School en Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute. ďDeze resultaten indiceren dat het toevoegen van vitamine D de anti ontstekingseigenschappen van de corticosteroÔden verbeteren bij patiŽnten met astma.Ē

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Volgens een studie is er verband tussen het gebruik van paracetamol en allergie/astma bij jonge kinderen.

Dat er een verband is tussen het vroege gebruik van paracetamol en de ontwikkeling van allergieŽn en astma bij vijf- en zesjarigen wordt bevestigd door gezondheid onderzoekers van de Universiteit van Otago,
Wellington.  Het verslag van professor Julian Crane is gebaseerd op de Nieuw-Zeelandse astma en allergie Cohort Studie. Het onderzocht het gebruik van paracetamol door 505 zuigelingen in Christchurch en door 914 vijf- en zesjarigen in Wellington en Christchurch. Dit om te zien of die kinderen tekenen ontwikkelden van astma of allergie gevoeligheden. “De belangrijkste bevinding is dat kinderen, jonger dan 15 maanden (90%), die paracetamol gebruiken mogelijk drie keer zoveel meer kans hebben om op 6 jarige leeftijd gevoelig te worden voor allergieŽn en twee keer zoveel meer kans hebben om op 6 jarige leeftijd symptomen te ontwikkelen voor astma dan kinderen die geen paracetamol gebruiken“, zei professor Crane. "Maar op dit moment weten we niet waarom dit zo is. We hebben klinische onderzoeken nodig om te zien of deze bevindingen causaal zijn of niet en om het gebruik van deze algemene medicatie te verduidelijken“. Het onderzoek wees ook uit dat bij 95% van de 6 jarigen, die steekproef-gewijs paracetamol gebruikten, er een belangrijk verhoogd risico was voor hedendaagse astma en een piepende ademhaling.

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Vertaling Lia Keizer


Asthma: What Brought on the Epidemic? - KQED QUEST

The rates of childhood asthma in the United States rose 160 percent from 1980 to 1994 and have remained high ever since, making this chronic lung illness the country's third most common pediatric disease. QUEST meets Bay Area researchers who are investigating possible environmental and social culprits. Their understanding of asthma's causes could one day lead to measures to prevent kids from developing the disease.


Link tussen neuspoliepen en astma verklaard

Onderzoekers van de Universiteit Gent hebben samen met Britse en Chinese collega’s een nieuwe aandoening van de luchtwegen ontdekt. De ontdekking brengt de link aan het licht tussen aandoeningen van de bovenste en van de onderste luchtwegen. De onderzoeksresultaten worden voorgesteld op het eerste congres waar tegelijk rinitis (neusslijmvliesontsteking) en astma aan bod komen.

Bij ongeveer een derde van de patiŽnten met neuspoliepen ontdekten de wetenschappers in de poliepen het antilichaam IgE, teweeggebracht door de bacterie Staphylococcus aureus met de hulp van zijn enterotoxines (SE). Die bacterie komt voor op de huid en op de handen, maar vooral in de neusholtes.

Het antilichaam IgE, dat aangemaakt wordt als reactie op lichaamsvreemde stoffen, richt zich op een efficiŽnte manier tegen duizenden allergenen tegelijk, en dit in tegenstelling tot de versie van het antilichaam die bij personen met allergische rhinitis wordt aangetroffen. De onderzoekers toonden aan dat een hoge IgE-productie bij deze patiŽnten in verband staat met astma. De patiŽnten zijn over het algemeen zwaar ziek, worden behandeld met corticosteroÔden en moeten geregeld in het ziekenhuis opgenomen worden voor operaties van de polypen. De wetenschappers veronderstellen dat dit IgE kan bijdragen tot chronische ontstekingen van de luchtwegen. De ontdekking van het IgE dat door de SE-bacterie wordt teweeggebracht, is een nieuw uitgangspunt bij de behandeling van chronische aandoeningen van de luchtwegen. Hierdoor wordt de link tussen aandoeningen van de bovenste en de onderste luchtwegen aangetoond.


Bitterstoffen werken bij astma beter dan huidige medicijnen

Een geheel nieuwe benadering in de behandeling van astma en COPD is waarschijnlijk mogelijk door gebruik te maken van de spierontspannende effecten van bitterstoffen in de longen.

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Jan Slemmer


Chloor vermeerdert het risico op astma

Volgens een onderzoek dat in Nederland uitgevoerd werd bij 600 badmeesters die hun beroep uitoefenen in een openluchtzwembad, wordt dit beroep in verband gebracht met een vermeerdering van het risico op ademhalings problemen (1). Bij deze mensen die de hele dag blootgesteld worden aan chloor, zijn de ademhalingssymptomen inderdaad erger en frequenter dan bij andere mensen. Het risico op sinusitis, schorre stem en bronchiale hyperactiviteit ligt bij badmeesters 40% hoger.

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Kinderen met astma dubbel zo vaak naar ziekenhuis in september

Kinderen met astma belanden twee keer zo vaak in het ziekenhuis in de maand september dan in andere maanden.

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Stress op werk verhoogt kans op astma

Stress op het werk verhoogt de kans op astma. Dat blijkt uit een onderzoek van de Duitse Universiteit van Heidelberg. Werkstress verhoogt de kans op astma met maar liefst veertig procent. Vooral mensen die moeite hebben om hun werk geestelijk ‘uit te bannen’ als ze naar huis gaan lopen een verhoogd risico.

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Annemarieke (Healthylives.nl)


Burgers en frietjes verergeren astma

Een hamburger met friet is niet alleen slecht voor de omvang van de taille maar kan ook astma verergeren volgens een nieuw onderzoek.

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Ignit Bekken


Astma in jeugd heeft negatieve gezondheidseffecten bij het volwassen worden

Kinderen met astma schijnen meer gezondheids- en sociale problemen te krijgen bij het volwassen worden, wijst nieuw onderzoek uit, gedaan aan de Yale School of Public health. De studie is gepubliceerd in de maandelijkse uitgave van Journal of health economics.

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Pieter Tau


Onderzoek van de Mayo kliniek toont omgevingsrisico's voor astma aan

Recent publiceerden onderzoekers van de Mayo kliniek de resultaten, waaruit blijkt dat kinderen die bij snelwegen of spoorbanen wonen een groter risico voor astma hebben. De onderzoekers gebruikten deze studie om te laten zien dat de omgeving een risicofactor is om de verspreiding van astma te begrijpen. De studie verscheen in een recente uitgave van Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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Pieter Tau


Kinderen zouden blootgesteld moeten worden om zodoende weerstand op te bouwen tegen astma

Volgens wetenschappers zouden ouders hun kinderen bloot moeten stellen aan stof door het kopen van een huisdier, of door hen naar een creche of naschoolse opvang te sturen teneinde weerstand op te bouwen tegen astma.

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Cindy Oppers


Verband tussen astma en soort bacteriŽn in huisstof

Het houden van huisdieren en geregeld bezoek aan een kinderdagverblijf vermindert bij jonge kinderen de kans op astma door verandering van bacteriŽn in huisstof.

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Jan Slemmer


Stress tijdens de zwangerschap kan bij een kind het risico op astma verhogen

Volgens onderzoekers (aan het Brigham and Women’s Hospital en de Medische School van Harvard te Boston, V.S.) verhoogt stress tijdens de zwangerschap het risico op astma bij het kind. Verschillen in weerstand kunnen opgespoord worden via het bloed van de navelstreng. Bij zuigelingen van moeders die ofwel onder veel ofwel onder weinig stress leefden leverden opmerkelijke verschillen op. Die verschillen houden verband met een mogelijk hoger risico op astma later. “Dit is de eerste studie bij stadsmensen die aantoont, dat verhoogde stress tijdens de zwangerschap verschillende patronen van bloedcytokineproductie weergeeft in de navelstreng, afhankelijk van diverse omgevingsfactoren, dit in vergelijking met minder gestresseerde zwangere vrouwen,” zei Rosalind Wright, M.D.(Docter of Medicine – nvdv), M.P.H.(Master of Public Health – nvdv)), wetenschapster aan hoger genoemd ziekenhuis.

Nelly Busschots

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(cytokine is een proteÔne die een rol speelt in het afweersysteem – nvdv)


Effect van rokende moeder op allergisch astma onderzocht

Allergisch astma is een veelvoorkomende ziekte van de luchtwegen, waarbij het afweersysteem overdreven reageert op ongevaarlijke stoffen (allergenen) van buiten, zoals huisstofmijt, kattenhuidschilfers of stuifmeel, waardoor iemand het benauwd krijgt. Tegelijkertijd ontstaat littekenweefsel in de longen, waardoor de kans op benauwdheid nog groter wordt. Astma komt in Nederland veel bij kinderen voor: een
op de 25 Nederlandse kinderen tussen een en twaalf jaar heeft deze ziekte. Uit eerder onderzoek is bekend dat moeders die tijdens de zwangerschap roken, vaak kinderen krijgen die astma ontwikkelen. Het is echter niet bekend waarom dit gebeurt. Anne BlacquiŤre onderzocht daarom in een muismodel hoe astma bij het nageslacht ontstaat. Zij ontdekte dat er in de longen van het nageslacht littekenweefsel ontstaat. De afweerreactie op huisstofmijt is echter niet verhoogd.

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Zwemmen in met chloor ontsmette zwembaden en de verhoogde risico's op bronchiolitis, astma en allergie bij kinderen

Recente studies voeren aan dat zwemmen in met chloor ontsmette zwembaden op vroege leeftijd het risico op lage luchtweginfecties kan verhogen. Om de invloed van zwemmen in chloorwater op het risico van bronchiolitis en de daarbij behorende latere consequenties te beoordelen, hebben we 430 kinderen (47% meisjes, gemiddelde leeftijd 5.7 jaar) in 30 kleuterscholen onderzocht. Ouders vulden een vragenlijst in over de ziektegeschiedenis van het kind, zijn/haar zwemgewoontes en potentiŽle risicofactoren. Aanwezigheid in een zwembad tijdens de vroege jeugd wordt geassocieerd met een verhoogd risico op bronchiolitis, met daaruit voortvloeiend een verhoogd risico op astma en sensibilisatie voor allergieŽn.

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Vertaling: Inge Hendriks


Astmafonds werkte griephysterie in de hand

Nu we zo langzamerhand kunnen vaststellen dat de griepophef niet meer was dan een Mexicaanse storm in een Hollands glas water, wil ik het hebben over de bedenkelijke rol die het Astmafonds heeft gespeeld. Na vele trouwe jaren heb ik enkele weken geleden mijn donateurschap aan het Astmafonds met onmiddellijke ingang beŽindigd. Ik wil niet langer financiŽle bijdragen leveren aan een organisatie die hysterie aanwakkert, een complete beroepsgroep - verpleegkundigen en verzorgenden - ernstig schoffeert en bevolkingsgroepen tegen elkaar opzet. Directeur Michael Rutgers bedrijft rabiate stemmingmakerij.

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Marjan


Snel ontdekken astma verbetert vooruitzichten patiŽnt

Hoe sneller astma wordt herkend en hoe sneller patiŽnten beginnen met het inhaleren van medicijnen, hoe beter hun vooruitzichten op de lange termijn zijn. Dat blijkt uit het promotieonderzoek van Toby Dijkstra onder 281 astmapatiŽnten, waarbij het ziekteverloop over gemiddeld 23 jaar werd geanalyseerd. Verder concludeert Dijkstra dat als mannen met astma inhalatiecorticosteroÔden gaan gebruiken, hun longinhoud minder snel afneemt. Opmerkelijk genoeg treedt dit effect niet op bij vrouwen met astma. Toch is het van groot belang dat de ziekte in een vroeg stadium wordt herkend, aldus de promovenda. Het roken van sigaretten doet het gunstige effect van medicijnen op de dalingssnelheid van de longfunctie bij mannen teniet. AstmapatiŽnten moeten daarom bewogen worden om te stoppen met roken.

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Afkomst beÔnvloedt luchtwegklachten jonge kinderen

Kinderen van Antilliaanse en Turkse afkomst lopen een groter risico op astma-achtige klachten in de eerste levensjaren dan kinderen met Nederlandse ouders. Marokkaanse kinderen hebben juist minder kans op kwalen aan de luchtwegen. Dat blijkt uit onderzoek van het Erasmus MC, waarop Carmelo Gabriele woensdag 25 november promoveert. Bij Antilliaanse kinderen heeft het hogere risico voor een belangrijk deel te maken met sociaal-economische status. Hun moeders zijn vaker alleenstaand, wat een groter risico vormt voor lage luchtwegklachten. "Dit zou kunnen komen doordat de moeders minder tijd hebben om voor hun kind te zorgen, waardoor kinderen meer infecties oplopen. Maar dit moet verder worden onderzocht", aldus Gabriele. Turkse kinderen hebben vaker klachten, doordat hun moeders meer roken dan moeders met een andere etnische achtergrond. Marokkaanse kinderen hebben de gezondste luchtwegen. Vooral in het tweede levensjaar is het verschil groot. Dokters stelden bij 0,3% van de Marokkaanse kinderen de diagnose astma. Bij Turkse, Antilliaanse en Surinaamse kinderen was dat 3%. Nederlandse kinderen zaten met 2% op het gemiddelde. Volgens de promovendus kan erfelijke aanleg een rol spelen, waardoor Marokkaanse kinderen van nature beter beschermd zijn tegen bijvoorbeeld luchtweginfecties. De promovendus heeft gebruikgemaakt van gegevens van 6.000 kinderen uit de Generation R-studie. Dat is het onderzoek naar de groei, ontwikkeling en gezondheid van 10.000 kinderen in Rotterdam. De kinderen worden vanaf de vroege zwangerschap tot hun jongvolwassenheid gevolgd.


Astma onder controle houden

Astma is een veel voorkomende chronische luchtwegaandoening. Wanneer er sprake is van symptomatische astma hebben er vaak onomkeerbare veranderingen in de luchtwegen plaatsgevonden. Daarom is het belangrijk om personen met een hoog risico op astma zo vroeg mogelijk op te sporen. Uit het onderzoek van Lotte van den Nieuwenhof komt naar voren dat bepaalde groepen met een allergie of allergische rhinitis ('hooikoorts') meer kans hebben op het krijgen van astma. Het hebben van asymptomatische bronchiale hyperreactiviteit in de puberteit vergroot die kans niet.

Een goede behandeling resulteert meestal erin dat de astma goed onder controle te houden is. Toch zijn er ook veel patiŽnten bij wie dit helaas niet het geval is. Waarschijnlijk komt dit deels omdat astmapatiŽnten en hun artsen de controle op astma overschatten. In dit proefschrift wordt beschreven dat de Asthma Control Questionnaire (ACQ) op een gemakkelijke manier onderscheid kan maken tussen astmapatiŽnten met goede en slechte astmacontrole.

UMC St Radboud Nijmegen


Asthma and smoker's lung - dry airways play a key role

Dry airways may not only play a central role in the development of the inherited lung disease cystic fibrosis, but also in acquired chronic lung diseases like asthma and smoker's lung, the cigarette smoke-induced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This conclusion was reached by scientists from Heidelberg University Hospital and the University of North Carolina. In animal studies, they found that insufficient hydration of the airways leads to pathologies typical of COPD in humans.

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Asthma protein find sparks hope

Hunter researchers have discovered a new protein which plays a crucial role in the development of one of Australia's biggest health problems - asthma.

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Respiratory infections in babies increase asthma risk

Babies exposed to severe respiratory viruses have a higher likelihood of developing asthma as they grow older, new research suggests.

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Swedish researchers link contraceptive pill to asthma

Women on the pill have a higher incidence of asthma than other women of a fertile age, according to a study involving Swedish researchers.

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F.D.A. Calls for a Caution on Label of Merck Drug

Merck & Company’s top-selling drug, the asthma medication Singulair, and similar medicines should come with a caution about reports of psychiatric problems in some patients, the Food and Drug Administration said.

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Traffic exhaust can cause asthma, allergies and impaired respiratory function in children

Children exposed to high levels of air pollution during their first year of life run a greater risk of developing asthma, pollen allergies, and impaired respiratory function. However, genetic factors are also at play. These are the results of a new study conducted under the BAMSE project. The BAMSE project has monitored 4,000 children in Stockholm county from birth in order to assess whether exposure to traffic pollution during their first year of life affects the risk of developing asthma and allergies. Levels of traffic exhaust were measured at the site of the home. The results show that the children who were exposed to high concentrations of pollutants ran a 60 per cent higher risk of suffering of persistent asthma symptoms. Respiratory function was also adversely affected, and the children were much more likely to be allergic to airborne allergens, particularly pollen.

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Yale discovery suggests protein may play a role in severe asthma

A protein measured in a simple blood test may be a new biomarker to identify patients with the most serious form of asthma.

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Chlorine Triggers Protective Nerve Receptor

Inhaling chlorine triggers a nerve receptor that protects healthy people by inducing sneezing, coughing, and irritation, but can cause major problems for people with asthma and other respiratory problems, Yale School of Medicine researchers report today in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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Study links asthma and post-traumatic stress disorder

For the first time, a study has linked asthma with post-traumatic stress disorder among adults in the community. The study of male twins who were veterans of the Vietnam era suggests that the association between asthma and PTSD is not primarily explained by common genetic influences.

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Researchers discover why eczema often leads to asthma

Many young children who get a severe skin rash develop asthma months or years later. Doctors call the progression from eczema, or atopic dermatitis, to breathing problems the atopic march. Now scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have uncovered what might be the key to atopic march. They've shown that a substance secreted by damaged skin circulates through the body and triggers asthmatic symptoms in allergen-exposed laboratory mice. The findings, published May 19, 2009, in Public Library of Science Biology, suggest that early treatment of skin rash and inhibition of the trigger substance might block asthma development in young patients with eczema. Fifty percent to 70 percent of children with severe atopic dermatitis go on to develop asthma, studies show. By comparison, the rate of asthma incidence among the general population is only about 9 percent in children and 7 percent in adults. Seventeen percent of U.S. children suffer from atopic dermatitis, although not all cases are considered severe. "Over the years, the clinical community has struggled to explain atopic march," says study author Raphael Kopan, Ph.D., professor of developmental biology and of dermatology. "So when we found that the skin of mice with an eczema-like condition produced a substance previously implicated in asthma, we decided to investigate further. We found that the mice also suffered from asthma-like responses to inhaled allergens, implicating the substance, called TSLP, as the link between eczema and asthma." Doctors and scientists had come up with theories to explain why a skin rash is sometimes associated with asthma. Do some people have an immune system disorder that causes an overreaction to allergens that contact the skin and lung airways? Or is it the opposite — do they have defective skin and airways that trigger an excessive immune response? Kopan's findings suggest the problem starts with damaged or defective skin. The researchers found that cells in damaged skin can secrete TSLP (thymic stromal lymphopoietin), a compound capable of eliciting a powerful immune response. And because the skin is so effective in secreting TSLP into the blood system, the substance travels throughout the body. When it reaches the lungs, it triggers the hypersensitivity characteristic of asthma. Led by doctoral student Shadmehr (Shawn) Demehri, the researchers studied mice that had been engineered with a genetic defect in patches of their skin. In the affected areas, the typically ordered layers of skin cells were disrupted, creating a condition similar to eczema. These patches were thickened and inflamed. The defective skin secreted TSLP as part of an alarm system alerting the body that its protective barrier function has failed — the substance activates an immune response that fights invaders.Operating on the assumption that other barrier organs such as the lung will understand this alarm, the researchers tested what happened when the mice with skin defects inhaled an allergen. They found that their lungs reacted strongly — their breathing became labored and their lung tissue took on the traits that mark asthma in humans: mucous secretion, airway muscle contraction, invasion by white blood cells and conversion of lung cells from one type to another. Additional experiments showed that mice that had normal skin but were engineered to overproduce TSLP also developed the asthma-like symptoms. "We are excited because we've narrowed down the problem of atopic march to one molecule," Kopan says. "We've shown that skin can act as a signaling organ and drive allergic inflammation in the lung by releasing TSLP. Now it will be important to address how to prevent defective skin from producing TSLP. If that can be done, the link between eczema and asthma could be broken."

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Bronchial Thermoplasty with the Alairģ System, an investigative procedure to treat asthma.

Bronchial Thermoplasty is a completely different approach to asthma treatment. The out-patient investigative procedure uses thermal energy to reduce the airway smooth muscle in the lung in hopes of reducing the airways ability to constrict. Less constriction in the airways may result in reducing the severity and frequency of asthma symptoms.

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Research links child asthma with old mattresses in cots

Babies who sleep on old mattresses are at increased risk of developing asthma later in childhood, research has found.

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Munich researchers discover key allergy gene

Together with colleagues from the Department of Dermatology and Allergy and the Center for Allergy and Environment (ZAUM) of the Technische Universitšt MŁnchen, scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum MŁnchen have pinpointed a major gene for allergic diseases. The gene was localized using cutting edge technologies for examining the whole human genome at the Helmholtz Zentrum MŁnchen. Schematic representation of the high affinity receptor for IgE. Variants within the gene encoding the alpha chain are associated with increased levels of IgE antibodies The newly discovered FCER1A gene encodes the alpha chain of high affinity IgE receptor, which plays a major role in controlling allergic responses. The team of scientists led by Dr. Stephan Weidinger from the Technische Universitšt MŁnchen and Dr. Thomas Illig from the Helmholtz Zentrum MŁnchen found that certain variations of the FCER1A gene decisively influence the production of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. IgE antibodies are a particular type of antibody that is normally used to protect against parasites. In Western lifestyle countries with less contact, however, elevated IgE levels are associated with allergic disorders. In genetically susceptible individuals the immune system becomes biased and produces IgE antibodies against harmless agents such as pollen, dust mites or animal hair. These IgE antibodies then work in conjunction with certain cells to get rid of the allergens, a process that gives rise to the symptoms of allergy such as allergic rhinitis (hay fever), atopic dermatitis or asthma.

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Athletes 'sweat and tears' linked to asthma

A new study from the September issue of the journal Chest shows that an athlete's ability to sweat may do more than keep the body cool. It also may prevent the development of exercise-induced asthma, a common respiratory condition among trained athletes.

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Heavy breathing -- an obscure link in asthma and obesity

There is a strong link between obesity and asthma and as the prevalence of both conditions has been increasing steadily, epidemiologists have speculated that there is an underlying condition that connects the two. But one long-suspected link, the systemic inflammation associated with obesity, has been ruled out by a recent New Zealand study that found no evidence of its involvement. "We were disappointed not to find a 'smoking gun' that would explain the common association between obesity and asthma," said lead researcher, D. Robin Taylor, M.D., of the University of Otago in New Zealand. "However, this research points us to other possibilities that future research should examine." The results were reported in the first issue for September of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, published by the American Thoracic Society. "We hypothesized that the low-grade systemic inflammation present in obesity would augment the inflammation of asthma (a synergistic effect)," wrote Dr. Taylor. "Or alternatively, that the inflammation of obesity might affect the airways independently (an additive effect), perhaps resulting in mixed airway inflammation." In order to determine if there was indeed an interaction between systemic and local inflammation, the researchers recruited 79 women—20 who were obese with asthma, 19 who were of a normal weight with asthma, 20 who were obese but who did not have asthma and 20 controls. Asthmatics were told to stop using their anti-inflammatory inhaler treatment to avoid confounding effects until "loss of control." After the withdrawal period of four weeks, subjects underwent blood tests and tests for biomarkers of systemic and airway inflammation, such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and cytokines in blood and inflammatory cells and cytokines in sputum. Those that are known to be relevant in both obesity and asthma were chosen. The researchers then analyzed for interactions between systemic and airway-specific markers of inflammation. "What we found was that although inflammatory cells and other biomarkers of inflammation were increased, there was no significant interaction demonstrated between obesity and asthma," said Dr. Taylor.

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Immune system kick-started in moist nasal lining in sinusitis, asthma and colds

Scientists at Johns Hopkins have outlined a new path for potential therapies to combat inflammation associated with sinusitis and asthma based on a new understanding of the body’s earliest immune response in the nose and sinus cavities.

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Molecule in skin may link eczema and asthma

A substance secreted by eczema-damaged skin might trigger asthma in children, U.S. researchers suggest.

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One-Year Results of Bronchial Thermoplasty in Refractory Asthma

We found that, in this population of severe asthma patients, bronchial thermoplasty was associated with a short-term increase in asthma-related symptoms around the time of treatment but showed a potential for a longer-term improvement in rescue medication use, lung function, asthma control and quality of life," states Ian D. Pavord, MD and principle investigator of the study at the Glenfield General Hospital, University Hospitals of Leicester. "These potential long term improvements make us hopeful that bronchial thermoplasty could some day be a viable new treatment option for these severe asthma patients.

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Obese people with asthma have nearly 5 times greater risk of hospitalization for asthma

Obese people who have asthma are nearly five times more likely to be hospitalized for the condition than non-obese people with asthma, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published in the September issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. This is the first study to control for the risk factors – smoking, use of oral or inhaled corticosteroid medications, gastroesophageal reflux disorder, and demographics – that might explain the obesity-asthma association. Previous studies have shown that obese people are more likely to suffer asthma than non-obese people, and that obese patients often have more severe asthma than their non-obese counterparts. More than 20 million Americans have been diagnosed with asthma. Nearly a third of adults with asthma are also obese, according to researchers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines obesity as having a Body Mass Index of 30 or higher (http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/obesity/defining.htm) Researchers at Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore., and the Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Research in Denver surveyed 1,113 patients in Oregon, Washington, and Colorado, age 35 and older, who have persistent asthma. The researchers asked the patients about their weight, height, smoking habits, other illnesses, treatment and their asthma-specific quality of life, asthma control and asthma-related hospitalizations. "The big finding here is that even after adjusting for risk factors, obese adults were nearly five times more likely to be hospitalized for their asthma," said study lead author David M. Mosen, Ph.D., MPH, of the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research. "Given that nearly 30 percent of our country is obese, this study is yet another example of the long-term dangers of obesity, along with heart disease, diabetes, stroke and dementia." The study uncovered these findings - * Obese people with asthma had significantly worse asthma control, lower asthma-related quality of life, and had 4.6 times higher risk for asthma-related hospitalizations than non-obese asthmatics * Obese people with asthma were younger and less educated than non-obese people with asthma* Obese people with asthma used more oral corticosteroids * Obese people with asthma had a higher incidence of gastroesophageal reflux disorder.

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Early Antibiotic Use Linked to Asthma

Nasal allergies, family history, frequent respiratory infections and exposure to tobacco smoke (pre- or postnatal) are risk factors - as is antibiotic use during the first year of life, according to a recent study published in the March issue of the peer-reviewed medical journal Pediatrics.

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Private Study Links Vaccinations to Neurological Disorders

The results are stunning. The data shows dramatic increases in neurological diseases and asthma in vaccinated children. Generation Rescue is cautious in its interpretations. They have taken a humble position, saying that, "We are a small non-profit organization. For less than $200,000, we were able to complete a study that the CDC, with an $8 billion a year budget, has been unable or unwilling to do. We think the results of our survey lend credibility to the urgent need to do a larger scale study to compare vaccinated and unvaccinated children for neurodevelopmental outcomes."

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Innate immune system targets asthma-linked fungus for destruction

A new study shows that the innate immune system of humans is capable of killing a fungus linked to airway inflammation, chronic rhinosinusitis and bronchial asthma. Researchers at Mayo Clinic and the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) have revealed that eosinophils, a particular type of white blood cell, exert a strong immune response against the environmental fungus Alternaria alternata. The groundbreaking findings, which shed light on some of the early events involved in the recognition of A. alternata by the human immune system, were published recently in the Journal of Immunology.* Eosinophils typically combat parasitic invaders of the human body larger than bacteria or viruses, such as flukes or parasitic worms (collectively known as helminths). Evidence from different experimental approaches suggests that asthma and chronic sinusitis can arise when the body perceives that it has encountered a disease-causing organism. Environmental fungi such as Alternaria do not typically cause invasive infections like parasites but for some reason, in certain people, the body responds as if it is being attacked and chronic inflammation can result from the ensuing cascade of immune-related events. Principal Investigator Hirohito Kita, M.D., from Mayo Clinic, remarked: "Our results strongly demonstrate that eosinophils have the capacity to recognize and exert immunological responses to certain fungi such as Alternaria. We have shown that CD11b receptors on the surface of eosinophils recognize and adhere to beta-glucan, a major cell wall component of the fungus. This in turn sets in motion the release of toxic granule proteins by the white blood cells, leading to extensive damage and ultimate destruction of the fungus. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that live eosinophils and not just the intracellular components have been shown to target and destroy a fungus."

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Foods That Cure Asthma And Allergies

Earlier this month, published findings in Pediatric Allergy and Immunology from a seven-year study of 460 Spanish children concluded that a definitive link exists between symptom-free children and a diet rich in “fruity vegetables” and fish. Fruity vegetables are those that grow from a blossom in the plant that comes from seed; such veggies include tomatoes, zucchini, eggplants, green beans, cucumbers and butternut squash, among others.

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More Findings on Gene Involved in Childhood Asthma

Asthma researchers have found that a gene variant known to raise the risk of childhood asthma in European children plays a similar role in white American children, but not in African American children. The most common chronic illness among children in the developed world, asthma is a complex disease in which a variety of genes are thought to interact with each other and with environmental influences to produce its effects. As in many other genetic diseases, researchers expect that better knowledge of gene associations will pave the way for new treatments and to customizing treatments to each patient's genetic profile. Researchers from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia found that variants in the ORMDL3 gene were associated with childhood-onset asthma among U.S. patients of European ancestry. In 2007 a study team based in Europe had identified the ORMDL3 gene, located on chromosome 17, as contributing to childhood asthma among British and German children. The current study, from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, appeared as a brief online report Aug. 29 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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Even occasional use of spray cleaners may cause asthma in adults

Using household cleaning sprays and air fresheners as little as once a week can raise the risk of developing asthma in adults, say researchers in Europe. Such products have been associated with increased asthma rates in cleaning professionals, but a similar effect in nonprofessional users has never before been shown.

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Monitoring Exhaled Nitric Oxide Does Not Help Manage Asthma

A new study shows that monitoring levels of exhaled nitric oxide in adolescents with asthma and adjusting treatment accordingly does not improve the course of their disease. The study was conducted by the Inner City Asthma Consortium (ICAC), which is funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Sept. 20 issue of The Lancet reports the ICAC findings. Approximately 550 adolescents in 10 cities across the United States participated in the study. It was designed to examine whether in addition to treating asthma based on national guidelines developed at NIH, measurements of exhaled nitric oxide would allow even better control of the disease. This was the largest study to date testing exhaled nitric oxide as a biomarker for asthma management. Asthma is a chronic disorder of the airways that affects approximately 9 percent of children under age 17 in the United States. The causes of asthma are still unknown, but allergens, air pollution and infections can provoke its symptoms, which include wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and coughing. Asthma symptoms occur when the tissues of the lungs become inflamed and the muscles in the airways contract, making breathing difficult. One measurable marker of asthma-related inflammation is high levels of nitric oxide (NO) in the breath; it is known that the higher the exhaled NO, the greater the inflammation of the lungs. Equipment is now available to easily measure exhaled NO. Widely used asthma treatments, such as inhaled corticosteroids, reduce both lung inflammation and exhaled NO. Exhaled NO would potentially be a good biomarker—a measurable feature of a disease that indicates its severity—of asthma inflammation.

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Throat Bacteria May Predict Childhood Asthma

If bacteria colonize the throat of a one-month-old infant, the risk of later persistent wheezing and asthma is sharply increased, researchers here found.

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Point-of-Sale Printers May Trigger Asthma

"The message for doctors is that in cases of adult asthma in patients working with point-of-sale terminals in close environments (kiosks, closed booths), it is recommended to keep in mind sensitization to acrylates released from thermal paper, Sastre said.

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Childhood Asthma and Exposures at Swimming Pools

Current evidence of an association between childhood swimming and new-onset asthma is suggestive but not conclusive. Important data gaps need to be filled, particularly in exposure assessment and characterization of asthma in the very young. Participants recommended that additional evaluations using a multidisciplinary approach are needed to determine whether a clear association exists.

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Air Pollution and Lung Injury in Asthmatic Children

Air pollution has been associated with adverse respiratory outcomes, but the influence of air pollution on lung injury is unclear, in part because of a lack of appropriate noninvasive biomarkers of lung inflammation. Liu et al. (p. 668) measured fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO), thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), 8-isoprostane, and interleukin-6 in the breath condensate of 182 asthmatic children to investigate acute effects of air pollution on these markers of airway oxidative stress and inflammation. Interquartile-range increases in 3-day average ambient sulfur dioxide (5.4 ppb), nitrogen dioxide (6.8 ppb), and PM2.5 (particulate matter <2.5 Ķm in aerodynamic diameter; 5.4 Ķg/m3) were associated with increases in TBARS and decreases in pulmonary function, with stronger associations estimated for children not taking corticosteroids. Results were consistent with an increase in airway oxidative stress and a decrease in small airway function in response to air pollution among asthmatic children. The authors conclude that TBARS in breath condensate may be a useful tool to investigate air pollution-related oxidative stress.

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Laser Light May Be Able to Detect Diseases on the Breath

A team of scientists at JILA, a joint institute of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Colorado (CU) at Boulder, has shown that by sampling a person’s breath with laser light they can detect molecules in the breath that may be markers for diseases like asthma or cancer.

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Farm kids have lower risk of asthma, study shows

Farm children appear to have a lower risk of asthma than their urban counterparts or even those living in a nonagricultural rural environment, according to a University of Alberta study.

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Sugar Intake Linked to Kids' Asthma?

Sugar might do more than just plump up our children, it could also help give them asthma, animal research suggests.

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Researcher uses GPS to find asthma causes

David Van Sickle is looking for a few pioneering asthmatics. He wants to attach a GPS device to their inhalers before they boldly go out into a spring world filled with allergens.His goal is to map where and when environmental exposures trigger asthma symptoms, prompting them to puff on their “rescue” inhalers, which deliver the medicine that keeps them breathing.

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Psychiatric side-effects prompt label change for asthma treatment

Doctors should consider stopping leukotriene inhibitor treatment for asthma or allergic rhinitis if patients develop neuropsychiatric problems, the US drugs regulator has advised.

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Study of 'Big Eaters' could lead to better asthma treatments

A new study into the role of a particular immune cell in the lungs could lead to better treatments for the 5 million people in the UK affected by asthma. Scientists from the University of Southampton's School of Medicine will study the role of macrophages (literally 'big-eaters' in Greek) in the lungs of people with asthma and examine how they affect the airway narrowing that can worsen asthma symptoms.Macrophages are the predominant type of white cells found in the lungs and their function is to clear any particulate matter, bacteria or damaged cells that may be present in the airway.Asthma is characterised by damage to the cells lining the airway and the act of removing these particular damaged cells can cause the macrophages to switch to working in a negative rather than a positive way. They start releasing chemicals that recruit and activate other inflammatory cells to the lung, which can cause further damage to the airway. At the same time, the macrophages also release growth factors that can re-model the airways leading to narrowing and increased twitchiness. What is not understood is why macrophages from the lungs of people with asthma release these inflammatory and growth factors, while macrophages from those without asthma do not.

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Increased Allergen Levels in Homes Linked to Asthma

Results from a new national survey demonstrate that elevated allergen levels in the home are associated with asthma symptoms in allergic individuals. The study suggests that asthmatics that have allergies may alleviate symptoms by reducing allergen exposures inside their homes. The work was carried out by researchers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), the University of Iowa, Rho Inc., and the Constella Group. The team's findings may help millions of Americans who suffer from asthma. "Indoor allergen exposures are of great importance in relation to asthma because most people spend a majority of their time indoors, especially at home," said Darryl Zeldin, M.D., a Principal Investigator in the Laboratory of Respiratory Biology at NIEHS and senior author on the paper.

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Acid Blockers for Mom During Pregnancy Increase Baby's Risk of Asthma

Taking acid-blocking medications for heartburn associated with pregnancy increases the baby's risk of developing asthma by more than 50%, according to findings presented here at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) Annual Meeting.

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Green fuel may increase asthma rates

Green fuels used in school buses may increase asthma rates, warn experts.

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Improved heating reduces asthma symptoms among kids

Improved home heating reduced asthma symptoms in children, according to a Otago University study in New Zealand. The study examined 409 children in five communities between the ages of six and 12 with asthma, both before and after the installation of more effective heating at homes.

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Iranian scientists produce droplets for asthma, bronchitis control

Iranian pulmonologist Dr. Hamid Rouhi Boroujeni has been able to produce and market two droplets for asthma and bronchitis using herbals.

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Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) for allergic asthma in children

Children with allergic asthma may benefit from an oral therapy designed to increase tolerance to allergens that trigger asthma and, in turn, decrease asthma symptoms and medication use. In a meta-analysis, researchers from the University of Genoa in Italy reviewed the results of nine studies (441 patients, ages 3 to 18 years) involving sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) for allergic asthma in children. SLIT involves the oral administration of allergen exacts, either through soluble tablets or drops. Researchers found that SLIT reduced both symptom scores and rescue medication use in children with allergic asthma compared with placebo. Furthermore, the majority of adverse effects associated with SLIT were mild and self-resolving. Researchers conclude that SLIT is clinically effective in asthma in children; however, additional research should be conducted to determine the most effective dose and regimen of administration. Although widely used in Europe, SLIT is not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for use in the United States. This study is published in the March issue of the journal CHEST.

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Relatively low dietary intake of vitamins A and C boosts asthma risk

A relatively low dietary intake of vitamins A and C boosts the risk of asthma, suggests a systematic analysis of the available evidence published ahead of print in the journal Thorax. hese findings clash with a large review of the evidence, which was published last year. Observational studies in recent years have pointed to a link between dietary antioxidant vitamins — A,C, and E — and asthma. But the results of clinical trials have proved inconclusive, claim the authors, from The University of Nottingham.

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Childhood wheezing with rhinovirus can increase asthma odds 10-fold

Infants who experience viral respiratory illnesses with wheezing are known to be at increased risk for developing asthma later during childhood. It is not known, however, whether every type of respiratory virus that produces wheezing presents similar risk. Using new molecular techniques to identify different viruses, researchers now believe they have pinpointed the biggest culprit: rhinovirus (RV). "We have found that rhinovirus, the most common cause of colds, contributes a disproportionate amount towards future asthma development in comparison to other viruses that also cause childhood wheezing," said principle investigator, Robert F. Lemanske, Jr., M.D., head of the Division of Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Rheumatology and Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. The results were reported in the first issue for October of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, published by the American Thoracic Society. >From November 1998 to May 2000, researchers at the University of Wisconsin recruited nearly 300 newborns at high risk for asthma (with one or both parents having had allergies or asthma) to take part in their prospective cohort study on the etiology of asthma, the Childhood Origins of Asthma (COAST) study. The children were followed from birth to six years and evaluated for the presence of specific viruses during wheezing illnesses. At six years, 28 percent of the kids had asthma— and those who had wheezed with rhinovirus were disproportionately among them. Children who wheezed with RV during the first year of life were nearly three times as likely to have asthma at age six, whereas children who wheezed with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), another common respiratory ailment that has been linked to asthma risk in children, did not have an increased asthma risk. The older the children were, the greater the effect. Children who had wheezed with RV in their second year of life were more than six times as likely to have asthma. Wheezing with RV at three increased asthma odds by more than 30-fold.

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Mold linked to asthma

A Cardiff University study has found that removing indoor mold improves the symptoms of people with asthma. Asthma UK figures show the prevalence of asthma in Wales is among the highest in the world, with 260,000 people receiving treatment for their asthma with the rate of hospital admissions for adults 12 percent more than anywhere else in the UK.

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City Streets with Trees Reduce Asthma in Children Living Nearby

Young children who live on tree-lined streets have lower rates of asthma than children living on streets with less vegetation, according to a new study conducted by researchers from Columbia University.

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Swimming pool chlorine linked to children's asthma

The chemical used to maintain indoor swimming pools may be contributing to asthma in boys, according to a new study.

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Novel virus detection identifies new viruses in study of respiratory infections and asthma attacks

A new study has found an unexpected number of viruses and viral subtypes in patients with respiratory tract infections. The technique used in the study may help identify new viruses associated with human diseases. The study is published in the Sept. 15 issue of the Journal of Infectious Diseases, now available online.

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Yoga reduces asthma attacks, say researchers

Yoga can almost halve the symptoms of asthma after just ten weeks, say researchers at the American College of Sports Medicine.

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Vitamin D levels linked to asthma severity

New research provides evidence for a link between vitamin D insufficiency and asthma severity. Serum levels of vitamin D in more than 600 Costa Rican children were inversely linked to several indicators of allergy and asthma severity, including hospitalizations for asthma, use of inhaled steroids and total IgE levels, according to a study that will appear in the first issue for May of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. While previous in vitro studies have suggested that vitamin D may affect how airway cells respond to treatment with inhaled steroids, this is the first in vivo study of vitamin D and disease severity in children with asthma. Juan Celedůn, M.D., Dr. P.H. and Augusto Litonjua, M.D., M.P.H. of Harvard Medical School and colleagues recruited 616 children with asthma living in the Central Valley of Costa Rica, a country known to have a high prevalence of asthma. Each child was assessed for allergic markers, including both allergen-specific and general sensitivity tests, and assessed for lung function and circulating vitamin D levels. Children whose forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) exceeded 65 percent of the predicted value were also tested for airway reactivity. They found that children with lower vitamin D levels were significantly more likely to have been hospitalized for asthma in the previous year, tended to have airways with increased hyperreactivity and were likely to have used more inhaled corticosteroids, all signifying higher asthma severity. These children were also significantly more likely to have several markers of allergy, including dust-mite sensitivity. "To our knowledge this is the first study to demonstrate an inverse association between circulating levels of vitamin D and markers of asthma severity and allergy," wrote Drs. Celedůn and Litonjua "While it is difficult to establish causation in a cross-sectional study such as this, the results were robust even after controlling for markers of baseline asthma severity." "This study suggests that there may be added health benefits to vitamin D supplementation" said Dr. Celedůn. Current recommendations for optimal vitamin D levels geared toward preserving bone health, such as preventing rickets in children and osteoporosis in adults.

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Asthma and obesity related to central heating and air conditioning

A recent study by the National Center for Healthy Housing analyzed relationships between health status and housing quality over time. They found that the increase in asthma correlates with the trend toward central heating and air conditioning.

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Asthma rates and where you live

Neighborhoods with restaurants, entertainment, cultural facilities and ethnic diversity have lower asthma rates in the city of Chicago than neighborhoods where residents are less likely to move, and where there are more churches and not-for-profit facilities. Published in the spring 2009 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, the two-year study led by Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH, a researcher at Children's Memorial Hospital and associate professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, showed that neighborhoods with more community vitality, specifically economic potential, community amenities and social capital had lower asthma rates. The study focused on 287 Chicago neighborhoods, where nearly 50,000 children grades K-8 were screened for asthma. Asthma is the leading chronic childhood illness, affecting more than 9 million children nationwide. Chicago has twice the national average asthma mortality rate. "Previous studies showed that neighborhoods right next to each other with similar racial makeup had very different asthma rates; we wanted to see what else was going on in each neighborhood to cause such a disparity," said Gupta. "So we looked at specific factors in each neighborhood." Ethnically diverse communities with greater potential for economic development that were civically engaged, meaning that there were high percentages of registered voters had low asthma rates while stable communities, defined as communities where residents were less likely to move, with more social interaction had higher asthma rates. Although it is not entirely clear how these factors affect health outcomes, previous research has shown that asthma and other chronic illnesses of childhood are associated with poverty, which may explain why communities with low asthma rates had a greater capacity for economic growth. Researchers suspect that the association between neighborhood stability and asthma may indicate that homes in which residents are less likely to move receive less frequent and thorough cleanings, leading to an accumulation of indoor pollutants known to trigger asthma. Similarly, the association of higher interaction potential and increased asthma may signify overcrowding, which also leads to increased indoor pollutants.

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Children in affluent countries more likely to develop allergy-related asthma

Children with allergic sensitizations in economically developed countries are much more likely to develop asthma than similarly sensitized children in poorer countries, according to a team of international researchers.

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Formoterol for Asthma - Evidence of Serious Adverse Effects

Asthma sufferers who regularly take the beta2-agonist formoterol are more likely to suffer non-fatal serious adverse events than those given placebos. A review carried out by Cochrane Researchers showed a significantly increased risk for people who took the drug once or twice daily for at least 12 weeks.

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Eosinophils as markers for asthma -The largest scale study so far on asthma genetics sheds light on disease mechanisms

In the study, the Icelandic company Decode Genetics together with Helmholtz Zentrum MŁnchen and a number of other international research institutes performed a genome-wide association scan of more than 50,000 test persons. The researchers found several sequence variants associated with asthma. “Two of the detected sequence variants are of significance for a biochemical pathway in the interleukin-1 cluster,” explained Dr. Matthias Wjst, who was one of the initiators of the study at the Institute of Inhalation Biology of Helmholtz Zentrum MŁnchen. This finding confirms the results of a research group at Helmholtz Zentrum MŁnchen from 2004, which showed that the IL-1 gene cluster is associated with asthma.

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Some pesticides cause asthma in farmers

Farmers' use of certain pesticides can cause asthma, a breakthrough study presented in Stockholm at an international conference on respiratory diseases showed. The study presented Sunday was conducted by researcher Jane Hoppin of the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. It examined 20,183 male farmers in the US states of Iowa and North Carolina.

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Asthma Link To Open-Air Pools

This latest research may go some way towards explaining why up to 80 per cent of swimmers in some corners of the competitive community are registered as asthmatics.

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New cold virus linked with childhood asthma

A study by researchers at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt implicates a new virus in an old, but growing problem: childhood asthma. Lead author Kathryn Miller, M.D., and colleagues surveyed young children hospitalized for respiratory illness and fever over two years and two geographic locations. The study, published online this month by the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, documented a newly described group of rhinoviruses (the cause of the "common cold") called HRV-C and found it accounted for almost half of rhinovirus-related asthma.

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Asthma risks ‘double’ during menopause

Women who go through the menopause have nearly double the risk of suffering respiratory diseases such as asthma, but could protect themselves by taking HRT, research suggests.

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Methylation Links Prenatal PAH Exposure to Asthma

Research suggests that a mother’s exposure to pollution during pregnancy may predispose her child to asthma, and there is preliminary evidence implicating transplacental exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)—generated mainly by the burning of fossil fuels and abundant in high-traffic areas. Until recently, progress in the study of prenatal exposures to PAHs and other pollutants has been hampered by a paucity of biomarkers for predicting asthmatic risk. Researchers from the University of Cincinnati and Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health now report that methylation of ACSL3, a gene expressed in lung and thymus tissue, may provide a possible biomarker linking prenatal exposure to PAHs to childhood asthma.

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Could A Gut Parasite Hold The Cure For Asthma? UK

Asthma UK is funding research which aims to demonstrate that being infected with a gut parasite reduces the likelihood of developing asthma. The research, led by British researcher Professor John Britton, of the University of Nottingham, along with Dr Gail Davey and colleagues at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, will study over 1,000 children born in urban and rural areas of Butajira in southern Ethiopia to see whether infection of the gut with either hook worms or other gut parasites protects against developing asthma later in life.

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Scientists find the cellular on and off switch for allergies and asthma

If you're one of the millions who dread the spring allergy season, things are looking up. A research study appearing in the May 2009 issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology (http://www.jleukbio.org) shows how a team of American scientists have identified a previously unknown cellular switch that turns allergies and asthma both on and off. Equally important, this study also suggests that at least for some people with asthma and allergies, their problems might be caused by genes that prevent this switch from working properly. Taken together, this information is an important first step toward new medications that address the root causes of allergies, asthma and other similar diseases. "This study uncovers some of the basic mechanisms that control whether or not people have asthma and allergies and the severity of the symptoms," said John Ryan, Ph.D., Professor of Biology at Virginia Commonwealth University, and a senior scientist involved in the research. "This understanding opens new avenues for treating these and other related diseases." Ryan and colleagues made this discovery in mouse experiments that examined cells from bone marrow and umbilical cord blood that ultimately help create a type of immune cell (mast cells). Too many mast cells lead to an over-aggressive immune response, which causes allergies and asthma. The scientists found that when chemicals (cytokines IL-4 and IL-10) used to initiate an immune response (the "on switch") are added to developing mast cells, the developing cells die. Because bone marrow makes both mast cells and these cytokines, the researchers conclude that just as the cytokines serve as the "on switch" for the immune system, bone marrow cells also use them as the "off switch" to stop mast cells from getting out of hand. Further supporting their discovery was the finding that strains of mice prone to allergies and asthma had genes which affected the production of this chemical "off switch" in their bone marrow. "The immune system has an incredible capacity for balance and counterbalance to maintain optimal and properly tuned immune responses," said John Wherry, Ph.D., Deputy Editor of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, "The studies by Ryan and colleagues are an excellent example of this inherent self-regulation of the immune system and how an imbalance in mast cell regulation could contribute to allergy and disease."

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Folic acid may help treat allergies, asthma

Folic acid, or vitamin B9, essential for red blood cell health and long known to reduce the risk of spinal birth defects, may also suppress allergic reactions and lessen the severity of allergy and asthma symptoms, according to new research from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center. In what is believed to be the first study in humans examining the link between blood levels of folate – the naturally occurring form of folic acid — and allergies, the Hopkins scientists say results add to mounting evidence that folate can help regulate inflammation. Recent studies, including research from Hopkins, have found a link between folate levels and inflammation-mediated diseases, including heart disease. A report on the Hopkins Children's findings appears online ahead of print in the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology. Cautioning that it's far too soon to recommend folic acid supplements to prevent or treat people with asthma and allergies, the researchers emphasize that more research needs to be done to confirm their results, and to establish safe doses and risks. Reviewing the medical records of more than 8,000 people ages 2 to 85 the investigators tracked the effect of folate levels on respiratory and allergic symptoms and on levels of IgE antibodies, immune system markers that rise in response to an allergen. People with higher blood levels of folate had fewer IgE antibodies, fewer reported allergies, less wheezing and lower likelihood of asthma, researchers report. "Our findings are a clear indication that folic acid may indeed help regulate immune response to allergens, and may reduce allergy and asthma symptoms," says lead investigator Elizabeth Matsui, M.D. M.H.S., pediatric allergist at Hopkins Children's. "But we still need to figure out the exact mechanism behind it, and to do so we need studies that follow people receiving treatment with folic acid, before we even consider supplementation with folic acid to treat or prevent allergies and asthma."

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Indoor allergen exposures at home trigger allergic asthma and respiratory allergies

6 allergen sources (dust mite, cockroach, dog, cat, rodent, and mold) of the 7 most common are typically only produced and found indoors at home.

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RSV may hide in the lungs, lead to asthma

Conventional wisdom has been that respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) – a common virus that causes infection in the lungs – comes and goes in children without any long lasting impact. A study conducted in mice by UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers, however, suggests that RSV may hide in the lungs even after other symptoms abate, ultimately resurfacing to cause recurrent wheezing and chronic airway disease. “This research suggests that there’s a potential new mechanism for asthma related to viral infections in children that could be associated with RSV,” said Dr. Asuncion Mejias, assistant professor of pediatrics at UT Southwestern and senior author of a study available online and in the Nov. 15 issue of the Journal of Infectious Diseases. “These findings could aid in the development of preventive and therapeutic interventions for children with recurrent wheezing due to a virus such as RSV.”

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GA≤LEN first campaign alerts healthcare professionals and patients of the importance of the link between rhinitis and asthma

The majority of asthma patients have rhinitis, and patients with rhinitis have a much higher prevalence of asthma than those who do not have rhinitis. Rhinitis is a risk factor for asthma. Improvement of allergic rhinitis symptoms can be associated with improvement of asthma symptoms. The prevalence of allergic rhinitis is increasing to up to 20% in school children and 30% in teenagers. It is important to adequately diagnose and treat allergic rhinitis as this can considerably improve patients’ quality of life and decrease the risk of asthma developing / asthma exacerbations.

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New national study links asthma to allergies

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have found that more than 50 percent of the current asthma cases in the country can be attributed to allergies, with approximately 30 percent of those cases attributed to cat allergy.

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Frequency of T-cells Determines Severity of Asthma

According to a new study, the frequency of regulatory T-cells (Treg) correlates to the severity of inflammation in allergic asthma, suggesting that Treg may play an important role in asthma pathogenesis. A study in Respirology, published by Wiley-Blackwell, used mouse models and peripheral blood mononuclear cells from subjects with allergic asthma to assess the association of the Treg cells with asthma phenotypes. Researchers found that the frequency of Treg cells in the peripheral blood of allergic asthmatics were lower when compared to healthy subjects. Lung Treg were also found to be associated with the severity of eosinophillic airway inflammation in the mice. "The correlation of Treg with asthma pathogenesis indicates that it is important to evaluate Tregs in allergic asthmatic patients - especially in relation to clinical severity and the degree of airway inflammation", said author Professor Hiromasa Inoue from the Research Institute for Diseases of the Chest, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kyushu University.

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Tobacco smoke can trigger child's asthma attack

Exposure to smoke can worsen your child's asthma and should be eliminated to help effectively manage symptoms, said a pediatric pulmonologist at Baylor College of Medicine. "Sometimes treating a child's asthma means treating the parent's tobacco addiction," said Dr. Harold Farber, associate professor of pediatrics - pulmonary at BCM and associate medical director of the Texas Children's Health Plan at Texas Children's Hospital."Cigarette smoke – in first-, second- and third-hand forms – poses a serious threat to your child's asthma. It's the first thing we look at when starting a management program for controlling asthma." When children with asthma are exposed to smoke, medications don't work as well and flare-ups or attacks can be more severe, Farber said. "The most important thing that a parent who smokes can do for their child with asthma is to get treatment for their own tobacco addiction," he said.

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Breastfed babies breathe better, except when mom has asthma

When it comes to feeding babies, the old adage "breast is best" certainly holds true, with breastfed babies having less diarrhea and fewer ear infections and incidents of wheezing in early life. However, the positive effects of infant feeding on lung function may not hold true for children of asthmatic mothers.

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Broccoli may help protect against respiratory conditions like asthma

Here's another reason to eat your broccoli: UCLA researchers report that a naturally occurring compound found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables may help protect against respiratory inflammation that causes conditions like asthma, allergic rhinitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Published in the March edition of the journal Clinical Immunology, the research shows that sulforaphane, a chemical in broccoli, triggers an increase of antioxidant enzymes in the human airway that offers protection against the onslaught of free radicals that we breathe in every day in polluted air, pollen, diesel exhaust and tobacco smoke. A supercharged form of oxygen, free radicals can cause oxidative tissue damage, which leads to inflammation and respiratory conditions like asthma. "This is one of the first studies showing that broccoli sprouts — a readily available food source — offered potent biologic effects in stimulating an antioxidant response in humans," said Dr. Marc Riedl, the study's principal investigator and an assistant professor of clinical immunology and allergy at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. "We found a two- to three-fold increase in antioxidant enzymes in the nasal airway cells of study participants who had eaten a preparation of broccoli sprouts," Riedl said. "This strategy may offer protection against inflammatory processes and could lead to potential treatments for a variety of respiratory conditions."

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Research team finds link between asthma and depressive disorders

Young people with asthma are about twice as likely to suffer from depressive and anxiety disorders than are children without asthma, according to a study by a research team in Seattle. Previous research had suggested a possible link in young people between asthma and some mental health problems, but this study is the first showing such a strong connection

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Blocking effects of viral infections may prevent asthma in young children

Babies who get severe respiratory viral infections are much more likely to suffer from asthma as they get older. Now researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have pinpointed a key step in the development of asthma in mice after a severe respiratory infection. They suggest that medications designed to interfere with this mechanism could potentially prevent many cases of childhood asthma.

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Visualizing asthma-causing immune cells at work

Immune cells known as eosinophils have a central role in causing asthma. Now, a team of researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, has developed approaches to noninvasively visualize in real-time eosinophil responses in the lungs and airways of mice with a disease that mimics asthma (experimental allergic airway inflammation); they hope that these approaches might be developed to help assess the efficacy of treatments (both old and new) for the disease. The team, led by Mikael Pittet and Ralph Weissleder, visualized eosinophils at single-cell resolution using various noninvasive real-time molecular imaging technologies (specifically, near-infrared fluorescence fiber optic bronchoscopy, intravital microscopy, and fluorescence-mediated tomography) following injection of an optical sensor that targets proteins produced by eosinophils known as MMPs. Using a combination of the sensitive optical sensor and fluorescence-mediated tomography, it was observed that dexamethasone (a drug used to treat severe asthma) decreased the number of eosinophils in the lungs of mice with allergic airway inflammation. As some of the imaging techniques have the potential to be developed for the clinic, the authors suggest that in combination with an appropriate optical sensor they might improve our ability to diagnose asthma and assess treatment efficacy.

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Antibodies to cockroach and mouse proteins associated with asthma and allergies risk

A study released by researchers at the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health (CCCEH) at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health shows that developing antibodies to cockroach and mouse proteins is associated with a greater risk for wheeze, hay fever, and eczema in preschool urban children as young as three years of age. The study, published in the November 2008 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, is the first to focus on the links between antibody responses to cockroach and mouse proteins and respiratory and allergic symptoms in such a young age group. "These findings increase our understanding of the relationship between immune responses to indoor allergens and the development of asthma and allergies in very young children," said lead author of the study, Kathleen Donohue, MD, fellow in Allergy and Immunology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. The study found evidence that the likelihood of developing wheeze, hay fever, and eczema in preschool urban children was significantly increased among the children who were exposed to antibodies of both cockroach and mouse allergens. This study is part of a broader multi-year research project launched in 1998 by CCCEH that examines the health effects of exposure of pregnant women and babies to indoor and outdoor air pollutants, pesticides, and allergens. The Center's prior research findings have shown that exposure to multiple environmental pollutants is associated with an increase in risk for asthma symptoms among children. These latest findings contribute to a further understanding of how the environment impacts child health.

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Possible link between baby swimming and breathing problems in children

Children with mothers who have allergies or asthma have an increased risk of wheezing in the chest if they take part in baby swimming before 6 months of age. This is shown in a new study using data from the Norwegian Mother and Child Study (MoBa) at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH). The results come from a study of 30 000 participants from MoBa. Approximately 25 percent of these children took part in baby swimming from 0-6 months of age.

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Link between paracetamol use and asthma in European adults confirmed in GA≤LEN study

Adults who take paracetamol weekly were nearly three times more likely to have asthma than those taking paracetamol less often, according to a study organised by GA≤LEN, the Global Allergy and Asthma European Network. Use of other painkillers was not significantly related to asthma. In the GA≤LEN-SARI study, published in the European Respiratory Journal, researchers across Europe compared the frequency of analgesic use in over 500 adults with asthma and over 500 controls. Their results, to be presented at the next Annual Congress of the European Respiratory Society (ERS) in Berlin (October 4-8, 2008) suggest that the risk of asthma symptoms is increased by frequent paracetamol use. This may be the consequence of the action of paracetamol that reduces levels of ‘glutathione’ in the lungs, an antioxidant substance needed to defend the airways against damage from air pollution and tobacco smoke. Dr Seif Shaheen from Imperial College London, one of the authors of the study, says “Epidemiological evidence is growing that shows a link between paracetamol and asthma. Since 2000, several publications have reported this association for instance in the UK and the USA. We have also shown that asthma prevalence is higher in children and adults in countries with higher paracetamol sales.” “Considering asthma is a common disease and paracetamol use is frequent, it is now important to find out whether this association is really a causal one. A clinical trial may be the only way to answer this question conclusively.”The Selenium and Asthma Research Integration (SARI) project was initially set out across 15 GA≤LEN centres to integrate research efforts and build capacity of the GA≤LEN network for future large epidemiological studies. The network is also developing a clinical trial network specialised in allergy and asthma, which in the long run could help scientists to further investigate the link between paracetamol and asthma.

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Rodent Studies Suggest Mother's Diet Can Affect Genes and Offspring's Risk of Allergic Asthma

A pregnant mouse's diet can induce epigenetic changes that increase the risk her offspring will develop allergic asthma, according to researchers at National Jewish Health and Duke University Medical Center. Pregnant mice that consumed diets high in supplements containing methyl-donors, such as folic acid, had offspring with more severe allergic airway disease than offspring from mice that consumed diets low in methyl-containing foods. The results of the study are being published Sept. 18, 2008, in the online version of the Journal of Clinical Investigation and will appear in the October print issue. "Our findings suggest that a mother's diet that alters DNA methylation can affect the development of the fetus's immune system, predisposing it to allergic airway disease," said David Schwartz, MD, senior author on the paper and Professor of Medicine at National Jewish Health. "It also suggests the dramatic increase in asthma during the past two decades may be related in part to recent changes in dietary supplementation among women of childbearing age." The prevalence of asthma has nearly doubled in the past 25 years. Asthma currently affects about 11 percent of the US population and accounts for $9.4 billion in direct healthcare costs. Although both genes and environment are believed to play a role in the development of asthma, scientists have been unable to definitively identify specific causes of the disease or explain the rise in prevalence. Epigenetics is the study of gene regulation. Environmental exposures can lead to modification of methyl groups (CH3) binding to certain DNA molecules, which can result in modified expression of specific genes. A variety of environmental factors, including diet, tobacco smoke, and medications, can modify methyl groups binding to DNA, particularly during periods of vulnerability. Although no changes occur in the genetic code, epigenetic effects can be passed to offspring. Emerging research has indicated that epigenetic mechanisms can affect the development of the immune system, skewing it either toward or away from a predisposition to allergies.

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'Fruity vegetables' and fish reduce asthma and allergies

Giving children a diet rich in fish and "fruity vegetables" can reduce asthma and allergies, according to a seven-year study of 460 Spanish children, published in the September issue of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology.

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Swimming Pools And Child Asthma

Warnings about adverse effects of chlorinated swimming pools, particularly where they affect children's airways, are becoming increasingly prominent in the scientific literature. The harmful impact of air breathed in close to the chlorinated water could even be one cause of the upsurge in child asthma recorded in the industrialised countries.

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Asthma Linked to Cat Allergies

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have found that more than 50 percent of the current asthma cases in the country can be attributed to allergies, with approximately 30 percent of those cases attributed to cat allergy. "It has long been debated whether people who develop asthma have a genetic propensity to develop allergies, or atopy," said Darryl C. Zeldin, M.D., a senior investigator at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). "This new research shows that 56.3 percent of asthma cases are attributed to atopy." Atopy is a condition that results from gene-environment interactions and can be measured by a positive skin test to allergens (or allergy causing substances in the environment).

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Smaakversterkers gevaarlijk bij astma

Der Geschmacksverstšrker Glutamat kann bei schwerem oder schlecht eingestelltem Asthma lebensbedrohliche Reaktionen hervorrufen. Schon beim Einkauf verpackter Speisen kann dabei der Teufel im Detail lauern. Glutamat kommt zudem in diversen anderen Angeboten vor. Ein beliebtes Versteck sind auch GewŁrzmischungen.

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Mothers' stress may increase children's asthma

Children whose mothers are chronically stressed during their early years have a higher asthma rate than their peers, regardless of their income, gender or other known asthma risk factors.

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ESRF lightsource helps tailoring new treatments against asthma

Researchers from Sweden and France have deciphered the crystal structure of a human membrane protein which has a major influence on the development of asthma. They used the ESRF macromolecular crystallography experimental stations (beamlines) to determine the structure of this pharmaceutically important protein, only the third human membrane protein to be solved. The scientists now believe that their work will enable the development of new and better therapeutic drugs targeting inflammation of the respiratory tract.

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Asthma - Commonly used medication shows no clear benefits in children

There are no clear benefits to using long-acting beta2-agonists for treatment of asthma in children, a new study concludes. In an overview of recent Cochrane reviews, Child Health Field researchers report that there is currently insufficient evidence to suggest the drugs, which are recommended to relieve the symptoms of asthma, offer any additional benefit to conventional preventative medications.

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K-State researcher finds correlation between childhood obesity and asthma

A Kansas State University study that found that healthy children with higher levels of body fat and lower levels of physical activity had greater amounts of airway narrowing after exercise. These findings may point to the increase over the past several decades in asthma prevalence as well as obesity prevalence, the researcher said.

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Mayo Clinic study finds increased risk of pneumococcal disease in asthma patients

Mayo Clinic research shows adults with asthma are at increased risk of serious pneumococcal disease caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, the most common bacteria causing middle ear infections and community acquired pneumonia. It also causes blood stream infections and brain infections. According to the Centers for Disease Control, pneumococcal infection is one of the leading causes of death from a vaccine-preventable disease. The researchers recommend including asthma as an indication for pneumococcal vaccination in adults. The results of the study were recently published in the October edition of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. "We found that adults with invasive pneumococcal disease, a serious, potentially fatal disease, are seven times more likely to be asthmatics. Our study also showed that 17 percent of the burden of invasive pneumococcal disease can be attributable to asthma at a population level. This is quite a significant impact on the burden of invasive pneumococcal disease," says Young Juhn, M.D., a pediatric and adolescent medicine physician-scientist at Mayo Clinic and lead author of the study. "Invasive pneumococcal disease is a vaccine-preventable disease. The implication is that we have the ability to significantly reduce instances of this potentially fatal disease by expanding the indication for the pneumococcal vaccine to include adults with asthma."

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Great fireworks, shame about the toxic fallout

WHEN those fireworks light up the sky on New Year’s Eve, be careful not to breathe in too much smoke. A study of the fallout from a New Year display in Austria shows for the first time that the fireworks can aggravate respiratory conditions like asthma because they shoot out harmful aerosols. Georg Steinhauser and his colleagues at Vienna University of Technology analysed fallen snow before and after a display in the village of Saalbach. Fireworks often contain metal salts to give them colour, such as barium for green flashes and strontium for red. The researchers wanted to find out whether any traces remained, clinging to snowflakes. If they did, it would mean the particles were present in the smoke from the fireworks and could be breathed in by spectators. “We found huge amounts of barium in the snow,” says Steinhauser (Atmospheric Environment, DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2008.08.023). Concentrations were typically 500 times higher than in snow samples taken from the same sites before the display. Barium poisoning is known to constrict the airways, so inhaling it could aggravate asthma symptoms, says Steinhauser.

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Exhaust fumes boost asthma risk in genetically susceptible children

Exhaust fumes heighten the risk of asthma in children who are already genetically susceptible to respiratory disease, indicates research published ahead of print in the journal Thorax. Variations in the genes that control enzymes responsible for clearing harmful chemicals breathed into the body have been linked to the development of asthma and other respiratory diseases.

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If air gets scarce -- new gene causes asthma in children

Usually harmless external stimuli like animal hair, pollen and house dust cause a life-endangering narrowing of the bronchi in asthma patients. An international team of scientists headed by researchers from the Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich, and Oxford University, UK, have now been able to identify a gene that clearly increases the risk for asthma in childhood.

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Scientists discover eczema-asthma link

Australian scientists say they have discovered a link between childhood eczema and the onset of asthma in adults.A study has found those who had childhood eczema were twice as likely to develop asthma.

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Is Scotland's dust behind asthma?

Claims that Scotland's childhood asthma pandemic has been due to the infestation of Scottish homes with house dust mites have been looked at by a BBC Scotland investigation.

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Aggressive treatment of childhood eczema could help prevent asthma, says new study

More aggressive treatment of childhood eczema may be an important step in preventing asthma, says a new Australian study. The study, published online in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, calls for trials of aggressive therapies against childhood eczema in attempt to reduce the incidence of asthma in later life. The study, conducted by the University of Melbourne, Monash University and Menzies Research Institute in Tasmania, has followed more than 8500 people who are part of the Tasmanian Longitudinal Health Study from the ages of seven to 44. Lead author John Burgess, from the University of Melbourne’s Melbourne School of Population Health, says the study is the first to demonstrate an association between childhood eczema and asthma into middle age.

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According to EU funded researchers, taking fish oil supplements in late pregnancy might reduce the risk of children developing asthma

In the context of European research on early nutritional programming, a team of researchers has traced the children born from mothers who had taken part in a trial. According to their work, the risk of developing asthma was reduced by 63% in those whose mothers had been given fish oil supplements during the last trimester of their pregnancy. This study is part of the EU funded EARNEST project with scientists from 38 institutions in 16 European countries. It is published today in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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Low-sodium advice for asthmatics should be taken with a pinch of salt

Following a low-sodium diet does not appear to have any appreciable impact on asthma control, according to new research.

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Consumption of nut products during pregnancy linked to increased asthma in children

Expectant mothers who eat nuts or nut products like peanut butter daily during pregnancy increase their children's risk of developing asthma by more than 50 percent over women who rarely or never consume nut products during pregnancy, according to new research from the Netherlands.

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Stomach bug appears to protect kids from asthma, says NYU study

A long-time microbial inhabitant of the human stomach may protect children from developing asthma, according to a new study among more than 7,000 subjects led by NYU Langone Medical Center researchers. Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that has co-existed with humans for at least 50,000 years, may lead to peptic ulcers and stomach cancer. Yet, kids between the ages of 3 and 13 are nearly 59 percent less likely to have asthma if they carry the bug, the researchers report.

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Study finds some kids are being misdiagnosed with asthma

More than 6 million kids in this country have asthma -- or do they? New research shows many children are being misdiagnosed. Instead of asthma, they may actually have Vocal Chord Dysfunction, a much less serious condition that doesn't require medication. A simple test can show doctors and parents the difference between asthma and VCD.

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Swimming 'may spark' asthma

PARENTS have long been told to get asthmatic children into the pool, but new reports suggest the exercise meant to fix respiratory problems may cause them.

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Immunotherapy alleviates hay fever and asthma in children

The results confirmed the effect of the grass pollen tablets: hay fever symptoms were up 24% less pronounced in the group taking the active substance than in the placebo group. Accordingly, the group needed 34% less medication. Asthma symptoms decreased by up to 64%. The immunological blood tests confirmed the effect of the tablet. In general, the grass pollen tablets were well tolerated, apart from frequent itchiness in the mouth as a temporary side effect. "Just as with adults, this immunotherapy with the tablet being placed under the tongue is also very promising in children", concludes Prof. Bufe. Further studies will be necessary to see whether there are any long-term improvements in the allergy. "For a long time now, standard hay fever treatment has consisted of desensitization/immunotherapy with the allergens being injected under the skin. If it transpires that the grass tablets have a similarly effective long-term impact, in future it will be possible to replace the injection therapy with sublingual treatment, and now also in children."

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Scientists identify how gastric reflux may trigger asthma

Researchers at Duke University Medical Center appear to have solved at least a piece of a puzzle that has mystified physicians for years: why so many patients with asthma also suffer from GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease. Clinicians first noted a relationship between the two diseases in the mid-1970s. Since then, studies have shown that anywhere from 50 to 90 percent of patients with asthma experience some aspect of GERD. But can GERD cause asthma, or, is it the other way around? Perhaps there is some shared mechanism at the root of both disorders causing them to arise together. Physicians could make a case for each scenario, but until now, the exact nature of the relationship was not clear.

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Does Swimming Cause Asthma?

Go watch most any team in the world practice and I guarantee you that somewhere on deck you’ll see the telltale sign of swimmers with breathing issues. The telltale sign is, naturally, the inhaler sitting on deck amongst pull buoys, paddles, fins, and mesh bags.

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Diesel exhaust fumes affect people with asthma, finds study on London's Oxford Street

Diesel exhaust fumes on polluted streets have a measurable effect on people with asthma, according to the first study looking at exhausts and asthma in a real-life setting, published on Dec. 6 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The new study looked at the effects on 60 people with mild and moderate asthma of walking along the western end of busy Oxford Street in London, where only diesel-powered taxis and buses are permitted.

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Severe asthma may be a different form of the disease

A multi-center research project to investigate severe asthma has found a key physiological difference between severe and non-severe forms of the disease, a finding that could help explain why those with severe asthma do not respond well to treatment. The study from the Severe Asthma Research Program has found that those with severe asthma are much more likely to show signs of "air trapping" in the lungs, a condition that prevents a full exhalation.

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Lungs' Mast Cells Could Provide New Treatment Target for Asthma, Other Respiratory Disease

An enzyme released by mast cells in the lungs appears to play a key role in the tightening of airways that is a hallmark of asthma — pointing to a potential new target for treatment against the illness. Reporting in the online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team at Weill Cornell Medical College explains that during an immune response, mast cells release the enzyme — called renin — which in turn produces angiotensin, a potent constrictor of the smooth muscle that lines airways. Mast cells are normally present in small numbers in all organs, and are best known for their role in allergy, shock, wound healing and defense against pathogens.

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Breastfeeding mice shed new light

French scientists studying lactating mice say they can add an important piece of evidence to a charged debate as to whether breastfeeding helps protect a child against asthma.

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Drug free therapy for asthma

Craniosacral Fascial Therapy reduces and potentially eliminates asthma symptoms," Dr. Gillespie said. "The outcome for asthmatic children who no longer need to live with the effects of this at times life-threatening disease inspires me.

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Air sampler gadget looks for asthma attack triggers

A new portable system is trying to predict asthma attacks by sampling the air and identifying likely triggers. The 1-lb. device, designed by a team at Georgia Tech, takes samples every two minutes, looking at recorded air temperature and humidity, and testing the samples for particulates, volatile organic compounds and gases like ozone.

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Genetic defect in skin cells leads to neurodermatitis, hay fever and asthma

New knowledge points to the fact that a genetically induced lack of filaggrin, a key protein of the skin barrier, plays a decisive role in the origin of allergies. In a large study on more than 3000 school-children scientists of the Helmholtz Zentrum MŁnchen and the Technische Universitšt MŁnchen found that about 8% of the German population carry variations of the filaggrin gene, which raise the risk to develop atopic dermatitis more than threefold. In addition, these genetic variations predispose to hay fever and asthma in those with atopic dermatitis. Allergic diseases have increased considerably in the past decades in most industrial countries. A combination of genetic and environmentally related factors is said to be the cause. In recent years, several genes were examined for a role in allergic diseases, and one of them actually turned out to be a key player. This gene encodes filaggrin, an essential protein in the horny layer of the skin. If this protein is reduced or lacking due to a genetic defect, the natural cornification is impeded and the natural barrier function of the skin is limited.

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Ambient Ozone Concentrations Cause Increased Hospitalizations for Asthma in Children

Asthma is the most important chronic disease of childhood. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has concluded that children with asthma continue to be susceptible to ozone-associated adverse effects on their disease. Our data indicate that at current levels of O3 experienced in Southern California, O3 contributes to an increased risk of hospitalization for children with asthma.

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Study Reveals Use of Cleaning Products During Pregnancy Increases Risk of Asthma in Young Children

Women who use a lot of household cleaning products when they are pregnant, or shortly after giving birth, are increasing their child’s risk of developing asthma. That’s according to the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents of Children (ALSPAC, also known as Children of the Nineties), that recruited over 13,000 children from before birth and has followed them to post 16.

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Antibiotic treatment targets difficult asthma

Hunter researchers have shown that a commonly available antibiotic can improve the quality of life of patients with difficult asthma, and may also generate significant health care savings.

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Handling pesticides associated with greater asthma risk in farm women

New research on farm women has shown that contact with some commonly used pesticides in farm work may increase their risk of allergic asthma.

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Protein a possible key to allergy and asthma control

Activating a protein found on some immune cells seems to halt the cells' typical job of spewing out substances that launch allergic reactions, a study by Johns Hopkins researchers suggests. The findings could eventually lead to new treatments for allergic reactions ranging from annoying bouts of hay fever to deadly asthma attacks.

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Place of birth contributes to asthma disparity

Tufts researchers and colleagues report that place of birth plays a role in the occurrence of asthma in a United States black population. The researchers found that within one inner-city population, blacks born in the United States were more likely to have asthma than blacks who were born outside of the United States. "Within Asian and Hispanic populations, there is research that indicates that asthma varies between those who are born in the U.S. and those who are foreign-born. There is currently no research that we found that describes asthma prevalence among black/African-American subpopulations in the U.S.," says first author Doug Brugge, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Public Health and Family Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. In partnership with Tufts University School of Medicine, the Boston Urban Asthma Coalition (BUAC) implemented the project in Dorchester in response to parents who wanted to determine how asthma affects their community. Adults 18 years and older were recruited from various locations in Dorchester to participate in the oral survey. If the recruited adults had children, they answered asthma-related questions about their children. Parent leaders from BUAC and students from Harvard Medical School conducted the survey, which included questions from asthma screening questionnaires used and validated by other organizations and research studies. Questions included place of birth as well as questions related to occurrence of asthma symptoms (e.g., chest tightness, wheezing, family history of asthma, allergies, etc.) and environmental factors that would lead to asthma (e.g., maternal smoking during pregnancy, mold growth in the home, vehicle traffic near home, etc.)

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Experts urge change in asthma management

The need for an urgent change in asthma management is advocated this week by a group of respiratory specialists, patient representatives, GPs and paediatricians from across Europe and North America. Writing in the December issue of the European Respiratory Journal (ERJ), the group, which includes Professor Stephen Holgate, Medical Research Council Professor of Immunopharmacology at the University of Southampton, identifies deficiencies in a range of areas in relation to asthma, including: diagnosis, recognition of the disease nature, asthma control, set-up of clinical trials, treatment of asthmatic children, asthma research and environmental conditions. The group also calls for a concerted effort from policymakers, regulators, health professionals, industry and patients, to remedy the significant disparities in asthma management practices between and within European countries, to ensure better outcomes for European asthma patients. The prevalence of asthma has increased dramatically over the last 20 years and around 180,000 deaths annually are attributable to asthma worldwide. It is particularly common in industrialized countries. The article in the ERJ highlights the Finnish Asthma Programme as a best-practice example of asthma management. The authors say the programme demonstrates that early diagnosis, personalised treatment and guided self-management, combined with patient education and reductions in tobacco smoking and exposure to environmental risk factors, can improve patients' asthma whilst reducing overall costs.

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Study strengthens link between tobacco smoke and behavioral problems in boys with asthma

Boys with asthma who are exposed to environmental tobacco smoke have higher degrees of hyperactivity, aggression, depression and other behavioral problems, according to researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. In a study posted online ahead of print by the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, the researchers said behavioral problems increase along with higher exposure levels, but they added even low levels of tobacco smoke may be detrimental to behavior.

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Childhood ear infections predict asthma

A history of ear infections during childhood appears to raise the risk of asthma later in life. According to recent research, the rate of ear infections has increased significantly over the years, paralleling the rise in asthma rates, BBC reported.

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Caregivers often expose asthmatic kids to smoke

Secondhand exposure to cigarette smoke is an asthma trigger in children and a new study shows that smoking by the primary caregiver and daycare provider are important sources of smoke exposure in children with asthma.

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