ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture Eases Side Effects of Head, Neck Cancer Treatments
Acupuncture Eases Breast Cancer Treatment Side Effects
Acupuncture Cuts Dry Mouth in Cancer Patients
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Heart Failure Raises Risk of Fractures
Bone Density Predicts Chances of Breast Cancer
Gene Plays Key Role in Clubfoot
CANCER
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
More Americans Urged to Get Cancer Screenings
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
CAREGIVING
Exercise During Pregnancy May Help Baby
Timing May Matter in Organ Donation Decisions
Baby's Sleep Position May Not Affect Severity of Head Flattening
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
Night Shift Work Hard on the Heart
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
DIABETES
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
The Best Diet? That Depends on You
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Oregano Shown to be the Most Powerful Culinary Herb
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Traffic Seems to Make Kids' Asthma Worse
Pollution Particles Impair Blood Vessel Function
Pesticides Linked to Parkinson's
EYE CARE, VISION
Action-Filled Video Games Boost Adult Vision
Music Can Help Restore Stroke Patients' Sight
Brain Pressure More Likely to Cause Vision Loss in Men
FITNESS
Marathoners Go the Distance on Heart Health
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
Laugh and the World Understands
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Most Fast-Food French Fries Cooked in Unhealthiest Oil
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fatty Fish May Cut Heart Failure Risk in Men
Risk Factor for Stroke More Common Among Whites
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
St. John's Wort Doesn't Work for ADHD
When It Comes to Toys, Shop Smart, Shop Safe
Dangerous Toys Still on Store Shelves, Report Finds
MEN'S HEALTH
Countdown to Hair Loss
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Positive Brain Changes Seen After Body-Mind Meditation
Musicians' Brains Tuned to Emotions in Sound
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
SENIORS
Protein Deposits May Show Up Before Memory Problems Occur, Study Says
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Calcium Helps Ward Off Colon Cancer
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
Being Active an Hour a Day Puts Brakes on Weight Gain
Add your Article

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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