ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
Acupuncture May Help Restore Lost Sense of Smell
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Living Near Major Road May Boost Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk
Tips to Ease an Aching Back
Too Few Screened for Abdominal Aneurysm, Study Says
CANCER
Green Tea May Help Prevent Oral Cancer
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
Get to Know the Pap Test
CAREGIVING
U.S. Mental Health Spending Rises, But Many Still Left Out
What Moms Learned May Be Passed to Offspring
Transition From Home to Hospital Rarely Seamless
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
Holistic Dentistry-My View
DIABETES
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
Red-Grape Compound May Improve Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Compound in Red Wine Fights Ravages of Age
Research Confirms How Valuable A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be
Functional Foods Uncovered
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Pesticides Linked to Parkinson's
Warmer-Than-Average Temperatures Raise Migraine Risk
Database Helps Assess Your Breast Cancer Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Eye Problems, Hearing Loss May Be Linked
Unconscious Learning: In the Eye of the Beholder?
Protein Might One Day Prevent Blindness
FITNESS
Exercise 30 Minutes a Day? Who Knew!
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
GENERAL HEALTH
Regular Yoga May Improve Eating Habits
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Can a Bad Boss Make You Sick?
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
Chinese Red Yeast Rice May Prevent Heart Attack
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Pool Chemicals Raise Kids Allergy, Asthma Risk
Music May Temper Pain in Preemies
3 Home Habits Help Youngsters Stay Slim
MEN'S HEALTH
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
MENTAL HEALTH
The Unmedicated Mind
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
Reminiscing Helps Build Emotional Strength
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
SENIORS
Want Better Health in the New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day
Rapid Weight Loss in Seniors Signals Higher Dementia Risk
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
Simple Carbs Pose Heart Risk for Women
Add your Article

Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, May 19 (HealthDay News) -- A mother's weight may have lasting effects not just on her own health but on the respiratory health of her children as well.

"Children with asthmatic parents are at an increased risk of asthma if the mother is overweight before pregnancy," said H.A. Smit, head of the department of prevention and health services research at the National Institute of Public Health and Environment in the Netherlands.

In fact, Smith and his fellow researchers found that the risk of asthma is 65 percent higher among the offspring of overweight mothers if one or both of the child's parents have a history of the disease.

Smit was to present the findings Tuesday at the American Thoracic Society's annual meeting in San Diego.

As many as 20 million Americans have been diagnosed with asthma, about 9 million of them children, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Despite advances in treatment, asthma is still responsible for about 5,000 deaths each year in the United States, it says.

Not all children born to parents with asthma go on to develop the airway disease. That happens about 40 percent of the time, the academy reports.

Because the exact causes of asthma are not clear, researchers have looked at a number of factors that might contribute to its development, including maternal smoking, the child's environment and more.

Smit's study sought to assess whether a mother's weight before pregnancy could affect a child's risk for asthma. The study included nearly 4,000 children, who were followed from birth to 8 years of age.

The mothers in the study averaged 30 years old, and almost 21 percent were overweight -- which the researchers defined as have a body mass index higher than 25 -- before becoming pregnant.

Children were considered to have asthma if their parents reported that they'd had at least one attack of wheezing or shortness of breath or had needed inhaled corticosteroids in the previous year. About 14 percent of the children had asthma by age 8.

The researchers adjusted the data to account for confounding factors, such as maternal education, mode of delivery, maternal smoking during pregnancy, duration of breast-feeding, birth weight and the child's current weight, according to Smit.

Although they found no association between maternal weight in children born to parents without asthma, children born to parents with asthma who also had an overweight mother had a 65 percent increased risk of developing asthma.

Though the study was not designed to determine why being overweight might affect a child's risk for asthma, Smit theorized that inflammation could be the connection between the conditions. That's because obesity can encourage inflammation, and inflammation is at the root of asthma.

Dr. Jennifer Appleyard, chief of allergy and immunology at St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit, said that "we don't know exactly what causes or contributes to asthma, but it does look like there are some things that occur in utero that could affect the child later."

But, she said, it may not be the fact that mothers are overweight. It could be something that they're eating that's affecting their children. It's just not clear from this study, she said, adding that that more research needs to be done.

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more on the causes of asthma.



SOURCES: H.A. Smit, Ph.D., head, Department of Prevention and Health Services Research, National Institute of Public Health and Environment, Bilthoven, the Netherlands; Jennifer Appleyard, M.D., chief, allergy and immunology, St. John Hospital and Medical Center, Detroit; May 19, 2009, presentation, 105th International Conference, American Thoracic Society, San Diego

Last Updated: May 19, 2009

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