ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Know Your Asthma Triggers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Too Few Screened for Abdominal Aneurysm, Study Says
Chronic Low Back Pain Is on the Rise
Barefoot Lifestyle Has Its Dangers
CANCER
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
CAREGIVING
3 Steps Might Help Stop MRSA's Spread
Study Casts Doubt on Influential Hospital Safety Survey
Hospital Volume Imperfect Gauge of Cancer Surgery Outcomes
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
DENTAL, ORAL
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
DIABETES
Poor Blood Sugar Control After Heart Surgery Impacts Outcomes
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
DIET, NUTRITION
Adults Need To Get Thier Food Facts Straight
Eating Vegan or Raw-Vegan at Regular Restaurants
6 Million U.S. Kids Lack Enough Vitamin D
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Staying Slim Is Good for the Environment
Think You Are Lead-Free? Check Your Soil
Heavy Traffic Can Be Heartbreaking
EYE CARE, VISION
Thyroid Problems Boost Glaucoma Risk
Glaucoma Treatment Can Prevent Blindness
Time Teaches Brain to Recognize Objects
FITNESS
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
GENERAL HEALTH
Sleep and Do Better
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Biomarkers May Help Measure Rate of Decline in Dementia
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Soy Protein Doesn't Lower Cholesterol
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
Irregular Heartbeat Tied to Alzheimer's Disease
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
Dangerous Toys Still on Store Shelves, Report Finds
Traffic Seems to Make Kids' Asthma Worse
MEN'S HEALTH
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
Positive Brain Changes Seen After Body-Mind Meditation
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
SENIORS
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
Seniors Cope With Sleep Loss Better Than Young Adults
Any Old Cane Won't Do
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Calcium Helps Ward Off Colon Cancer
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
Women Smokers Lose 14.5 Years Off Life Span
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Prenatal Exposure to Traffic Pollution May Lead to Asthma

MONDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Traffic pollution may cause genetic changes in the womb that increase a child's risk of developing asthma, say U.S. researchers who studied umbilical cord blood from New York City children.

They found evidence of a possible new biomarker -- an epigenetic alteration in the gene ACSL3 -- associated with prenatal exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are created as byproducts of incomplete combustion of carbon-containing fuels such as gasoline.

PAH levels are high in heavy-traffic areas, and exposure to PAHs has been linked to such diseases as cancer and childhood asthma.

The findings, published in the Feb. 16 issue of the journal PLoS One, offer a potential clue for predicting environmentally-related asthma in children, particularly those born to mothers who live in high-traffic areas, said the researchers from the University of Cincinnati and Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

Epigenetic changes can disrupt the normal functioning of genes by affecting their expression but don't cause structural changes or mutations in the genes.

"Our data support the concept that environmental exposure can interact with genes during key developmental periods to trigger disease onset later in life, and that tissues are being reprogrammed to become abnormal later," the study's senior author, Shuk-mei Ho, chairwoman of UC's Department of Environmental Health and director of the Center for Environmental Genetics, said in news release.

If the findings are confirmed in future studies, changes in the ACSL3 gene could offer a new biomarker for early diagnosis of pollution-related asthma.

"Understanding early predictors of asthma is an important area of investigation because they represent potential clinical targets for intervention," study co-author Dr. Rachel Miller, director of the asthma project at Mailman's Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health, said in the release.

More information

The American Lung Association has more about childhood asthma.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: University of Cincinnati, news release, Feb. 13, 2009

Last Updated: Feb. 17, 2009

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