Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Allergies and wheezing illnesses in childhood may be determined in the womb

26.10.2010
A child’s chances of developing allergies or wheezing is related to how he or she grew at vital stages in the womb, according to scientists from the University of Southampton.

The new research, funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the British Lung Foundation, and undertaken at Southampton General Hospital, reveals that fetuses which develop quickly in early pregnancy but falter later in pregnancy are likely to go on to develop allergies and asthma as children. Scientists believe this is due to changes in the development of their immune system and lungs.

A fetus that grows too slowly in the womb is also more likely to become an infant who wheezes with common colds, possibly as a result of narrower airways in its lungs.

“Childhood allergies and asthma have become an epidemic in developed countries over the last 50 years. This research shows that in order to combat this, we need to understand more about how babies develop in the womb,” comments Keith Godfrey, Professor of Epidemiology and Human Development at the University of Southampton and a consultant in dermatology at Southampton General Hospital.

“We already know that a baby’s growth in the womb has an important influence on susceptibility to obesity and heart disease in later life, but this research provides some of the most direct evidence yet that changes in how the baby’s immune system and lungs develops before birth can predispose them to some of the commonest childhood illnesses.”

For the research, published in the Journal Thorax, University of Southampton scientists at the MRC Epidemiology Unit based at Southampton General Hospital studied more than 1,500 three year-old children who were taking part in the Southampton Women’s Survey, the UK’s largest study of women and their offspring. The Survey has studied how a woman’s diet and lifestyle before and during pregnancy affects their baby’s growth in the womb, and is monitoring how these early life influences determine health and development during childhood.

The team discovered evidence of sensitivity to common allergens (atopy) in 27 per cent of children who had developed quickly in early pregnancy but faltered later in pregnancy, as compared with 4 per cent in those with a slow early growth trajectory and quicker growth in late pregnancy.

Professor Stephen Holgate, from the Medical Research Council, says: “Unravelling the complex interplay between immunity and disease, over the course of a person’s life, including before they are even born, is a core part of the MRC’s research strategy. Furthering our understanding of the body’s natural resilience is critical to developing new advances in the treatment of infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases and allergies.”

Ian Jarrold, Research Manager at the British Lung Foundation, says: “Children’s lung health can be complex so this research, funded by the British Lung Foundation, is a considerable step forward in understanding why some children are more likely to develop allergies and asthma.

“The most commonly reported long-term illnesses in children and babies are conditions of the respiratory system. Increasing our understanding of childhood lung conditions is vital for developing new ways of diagnosing and treating lung diseases earlier in life.”

Sophie Docker | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.soton.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University

nachricht The first analysis of Ewing's sarcoma methyloma opens doors to new treatments
01.12.2016 | IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>