Saturday, November 22, 2008

Autumn babies at greater risk of asthma: study

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Babies born four months before the peak cold and flu season have a 30 percent higher risk of developing asthma, U.S. researchers said on Friday, suggesting that these common infections may trigger asthma.

"All infants are exposed to this and it is potentially preventable," said Dr. Tina Hartert, director of the center for Asthma Research at Vanderbilt University, whose study appears in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

She said it has been known for some time that infants in the Northern Hemisphere born in the fall are at higher risk of developing asthma, but the study is the first to tie this trend to peak viral activity in the winter months.

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