Preterm birth could up asthma risk in childhood
Researchers have found that preterm birth could increase the risk of asthma and wheezing disorders during childhood.
Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) in Boston, Massachusetts, in collaboration with investigators at the Maastricht University Medical Centre and Maastricht University School of Public Health in the Netherlands and The University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, also found that the risk of developing these conditions increases as the degree of prematurity increases.
The findings are based on a systematic review and meta-analysis of 30 studies that investigated the association between preterm birth and asthma/wheezing disorders among 1.5 million children.
These studies were conducted between 1995 and the present, a time span chosen to allow for recent changes in the management of prematurity.
Across the studies, 13.7 percent of preterm babies developed asthma/wheezing disorders compared with 8.3 percent of babies born at term, representing a 70 percent increased risk.
Children born very early (before 32 weeks gestation) had approximately three times the risk of developing asthma/wheezing disorders compared with babies born at term.
This research has been published in journal PLOS Medicine.
(Posted on 08-03-2014)