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Trio of Studies Shed Light on Pediatric Asthma Issues

Less air pollution helps, early antibiotics may exacerbate, and pertussis vaccine not implicated

MONDAY, Mar. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Children with asthma have fewer symptoms when their exposure to air pollution is reduced, while antibiotic use is associated with an exacerbation of symptoms, according to two studies published in the March issue of Pediatrics. A third study found that pertussis vaccination is not associated with increased risk of asthma.

Gabriele Renzetti, M.D., of UOC Pediatria Medica in Pescara, Italy, and colleagues relocated 37 children with mild asthma from a highly polluted urban setting to a less polluted rural one and found that there was a reduction in fractional exhaled nitric oxide and improved lower airway function after one week.

Fawziah Marra, of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and colleagues analyzed data on 251,817 children and discovered an association between antibiotic use in the first year of life and a slightly increased risk of early childhood asthma. Increasing number of antibiotic courses increased the risk. Ben D. Spycher, of the University of Bern in Switzerland, and colleagues conducted a survey of 6,811 children in England comparing pertussis vaccination status with incidence of wheeze and asthma, and found no association between vaccination and risk of either condition.

"Our findings contradict several earlier studies reporting a significantly increased risk of asthma or atopic disorders in children vaccinated against pertussis," Spycher and colleagues write. "The biological mechanisms through which vaccinations early in life might affect the natural history of asthma and allergy need to be clarified."

Abstract - Renzetti
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Abstract - Marra
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Abstract - Spycher
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