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C-section Preemies at Higher Childhood Asthma Risk

Genes, biology make these children more prone to severe airway trouble

THURSDAY, March 3, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- Premature infants born through Caesarean delivery are more likely to suffer severe childhood asthma than full-term infants, according to a new report.

The University of Washington study also suggests two reasons why the these children are more likely to be hospitalized with asthma.

The first reason is biological: Caesarean delivery alters the bacterial colonization of the child's gut, which may hinder the infant's tolerance to allergens and increase the risk of asthma, the researchers conclude.

The second is genetic: According to the researchers, women with asthma had higher rates of both premature infants and Caesarean delivery, so it follows that premature infants are also more likely to inherit a maternal genetic disposition for asthma.

The study drew its conclusions by evaluating the medical records of more than 10,000 Washington state children aged 6 to 12 years.

The study appears in a recent issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

More information

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology has more about childhood asthma.

SOURCES: The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, press release, Feb. 21, 2005
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