Common colds during pregnancy may lead to childhood asthma

February 3, 2014

Women that are pregnant may want to take extra precaution around those that are sniffling and sneezing this winter. According to a new study published today, the more common colds and viral infections a woman has during pregnancy, the higher the risk her baby will have asthma.

The study, published in the February issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, found a mother's infections and bacterial exposure during pregnancy affect the in utero environment, thus increasing a baby's risk of developing and in childhood.

"In addition, these same children that had early exposure to allergens, such as house dust and pet dander, had increased odds of becoming sensitized by age five," said allergist Mitch Grayson, MD, Annals deputy editor and fellow of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). "When dust mites from the mother and child's mattresses were examined, children with high dust mite exposure yet low bacteria exposure were more likely to be allergic to than those with low mite exposure and high bacteria contact."

Researchers studied 513 pregnant women in Germany, and their 526 children. Questionnaires were completed during pregnancy, when the children were three and 12 months old, and every year up to five-years-old. Of the families, 61 percent had a parent with asthma, hay fever or atopic dermatitis.

According to the ACAAI, asthma and allergy can be hereditary. If both of a child's parents have allergies, the child has a 75 percent chance of being allergic. If one of the parents is allergic, or if a close relative has allergies, the child has a 30 to 40 percent chance of having some form of allergy. If neither parent has allergy, the chance is only 10 to 15 percent.

"We know that allergy and asthma can develop in the womb since genetics play a factor in both diseases," said allergist Michael Foggs, MD, ACAAI president. "But this study sheds light about how a mother's environment during pregnancy can begin affecting the child before birth."

Asthma is the most common potentially serious medical condition to complicate pregnancy, according to the ACAAI. In fact, asthma affects approximately 8 percent of women in their childbearing years. When women with asthma become pregnant, one-third of the patients improve, one-third worsen and one-third remain unchanged.

Women who are or plan on becoming pregnant should continue speaking with their board-certified allergist about treatment options and how to eliminate symptom triggers. More information and a video about allergy and asthma during , visit http://www.acaai.org/pregnancy.

Explore further: Allergy shots during pregnancy may decrease allergies in children

Related Stories

Allergy shots during pregnancy may decrease allergies in children

November 8, 2013
Expecting mothers who suffer from allergies may want to consider another vaccination in addition to the flu shot and Tdap. A study being presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma ...

Children with allergy, asthma may be at higher risk for ADHD

August 13, 2013
The number of children being diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder (ADHD), allergy and asthma is increasing in the United States. And according to a new study, there might be a link between the growth of these three conditions.

Holiday health: Asthma with a side of allergies

November 8, 2013
People with asthma traveling to pet friendly homes for the holidays may want to pack allergy medication along with their inhaler. A study being presented this week at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology's ...

Allergy and asthma risk is in the genes and how the environment interacts with them

November 8, 2013
Are men healthier than women when it comes to allergies and asthma? Is one sex genetically at higher risk for chronic allergic illness? There are many differences between men and women. And when it comes down to health, one ...

Menopausal women at greater risk for asthma hospitalization

September 3, 2013
Asthma is a disease that mostly affects young boys and adult women. And according to a new study, women in their 40s and 50s with asthma are hospitalized more than twice as often as men in the same age group. The 10-year ...

End your child's allergy suffering within three years

October 1, 2012
When children suffer from dust mite induced allergies and asthma, finding relief can seem impossible. While there isn't a complete cure for childhood respiratory allergies, researchers have found that long term control of ...

Recommended for you

Accounting for human immune diversity increases clinical relevance of fundamental immunological research

July 26, 2017
Mouse models have advanced our understanding of immune function and disease in many ways but they have failed to account for the natural diversity in human immune responses. As a result, insights gained in the lab may be ...

Study sheds light on how body may detect early signs of cancer

July 26, 2017
Fresh insights into how cells detect damage to their DNA - a hallmark of cancer - could help explain how the body keeps disease in check.

How genetically engineered viruses develop into effective vaccines

July 26, 2017
Lentiviral vectors are virus particles that can be used as a vaccine to stimulate the immune system to fight against specific pathogens. The vectors are derived from HIV, rendered non-pathogenic, and then engineered to carry ...

Does your child really have a food allergy?

July 24, 2017
(HealthDay)—Many people misunderstand what food allergies are, and even doctors can be confused about how to best diagnose them, suggests a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Genetic immune deficiency could hold key to severe childhood infections

July 18, 2017
A gene mutation making young children extremely vulnerable to common viruses may represent a new type of immunodeficiency, according to a University of Queensland researcher.

What are the best ways to diagnose and manage asthma?

July 18, 2017
What are the best ways to diagnose and manage asthma in adults? This can be tricky because asthma can stem from several causes and treatment often depends on what is triggering the asthma.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Dr_ Louise
not rated yet Feb 04, 2014
While pregnant, I realized my own allergy to dust mites. I was able to treat my home and duct work with Greenbug for People - an EPA exempt product that uses organic cedar oil as the active ingredient. It killed the dust mites and I tolerated it with no issues. I have since recommended it for several patients with consistent results. For more information, their website is www.greenbugallnatural.com

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.