New York, Feb 4 IANS | 10 months ago

If you are pregnant and have common cold, it may put your child at risk of having asthma, warns a study.

The more frequently a woman catches common cold and viral infections during pregnancy, the higher the risk of her baby having asthma, it added.

A mother's infections and bacterial exposure during pregnancy affect the environment in the uterus, thus increasing a baby's risk of developing allergy and asthma 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 sensitised by age five," said allergist Mitch Grayson, 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 dust mites than those with low mite exposure and high bacteria contact, Grayson added.

Researchers studied 513 pregnant women in Germany and their 526 children.

According to the findings, 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 and 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.

Women who are pregnant should continue speaking with their allergist about treatment options and how to eliminate symptom triggers, said the study published in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

(Posted on 04-02-2014)

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