Exposure to pet, pest allergens during infancy linked to reduced asthma risk

170919102555_1_540x360.jpg

Children exposed to high indoor levels of pet or pest allergens during infancy have a lower risk of developing asthma by 7 years of age, new research supported by the National Institutes of Health reveals. The findings, published September 19 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, may provide clues for the design of strategies to prevent asthma from developing.
While previous studies have established that reducing allergen exposure in the home helps control established asthma, the new findings suggest that exposure to certain allergens early in life, before asthma develops, may have a preventive effect. The observations come from the ongoing Urban Environment and Childhood Asthma (URECA — pronounced “Eureka”) study, which is funded by NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) through its Inner-City Asthma Consortium.
“We are learning more and more about how the early-life environment can influence the development of certain health conditions,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. “If we can develop strategies to prevent asthma before it develops, we will help alleviate the burden this disease places on millions of people, as well as on their families and communities.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 8 percent of children in the United States currently have asthma, a chronic disease that intermittently inflames and narrows the airways. Asthma can result in missed time from school and work and is a major cause of emergency department visits and hospitalizations.
The URECA study investigates risk factors for asthma among children living in urban areas, where the disease is more prevalent and severe. Since 2005, URECA has enrolled 560 newborns from Baltimore, Boston, New York City and St. Louis at high risk for developing asthma because at least one parent has asthma or allergies. Study investigators have been following the children since birth, and the current research report evaluates the group through 7 years of age.
Among 442 children for whom researchers had enough data to assess asthma status at age 7 years, 130 children (29 percent) had asthma. Higher concentrations of cockroach, mouse and cat allergens present in dust samples collected from the children’s homes during the first three years of life (at age 3 months, 2 years and 3 years) were linked to a lower risk of asthma by age 7 years. !

Share this post

PinIt
    scroll to top